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inside: first line of proclamation • you must announce from the housetops

Today we are living in a world which is growing ever “smaller” and where, as a result, it would seem to be easier for all of us to be neighbours. Developments in travel and communications technology are bringing us closer together and making us more connected, even as globalization makes us increasingly interdependent. Nonetheless, divisions, which are sometimes quite deep, continue to exist within our human family. On the global level we see a scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor. Often we need only walk the streets of a city to see the contrast between people living on the street and the brilliant lights of the store windows. We have become so accustomed to these things that they no longer unsettle us. Our world suffers from many forms of exclusion, marginalization and poverty, to say nothing of conflicts born of a combination of economic, political, ideological, and, sadly, even religious motives. In a world like this, media can help us to feel closer to one another, creating a sense of the unity of the human family which can in turn inspire solidarity and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified life for all. Good communication helps us to grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately, to grow in unity. The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another. We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect. A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive. Media can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays, when the networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances. The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God. This is not to say that certain problems do not exist. The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression. The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful, but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests. The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings. The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbours, from those closest to us. We should not overlook the fact that those who for whatever reason lack access to social media run the risk of being left behind. While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than wtechnological achievement. What is it, then, that helps us, in the m 19 89 - 1 w 99 digital environment, to grow in humanity and mutual We need, for example, to recover a certain sense m understanding? 3 19 94 - 1 m of deliberateness and calm. This calls for time andwthe ability to be silent and to listen. We need also to be patient 9 19 99 99 w from 2us. 0 if we want to understand those who are different People only express themselves fully when they are not 0 m 3 20 03 - 2 merely tolerated, but know that they are truly accepted. If we are genuinely attentive in listening to others, we will 00 w 5 m 20 0 5 to appreciate the richness of human experience as manifested learn to look at the world with different eyes and wcome - 2 01 m 2 01 in different cultures and traditions. We will also 2learn to appreciate more fully the important values inspired by 2 20 14 Christianity, such as the vision of the human person, the nature of marriage and the family, the proper distinction between the religious and political spheres, the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, and many others. How, then, can communication be at the service of an authentic culture of encounter? What does it mean for us, as disciples of the Lord, to encounter others in the light of the Gospel? In spite of our own limitations and sinfulness, how do we draw truly close to one another? These questions are summed up in what a scribe – a communicator – once asked Jesus: “And who is my neighbour?” (Lk 10:29). This question can help us to see communication in terms of “neighbourliness”. We might paraphrase the question in this way: How can we be “neighbourly” in our use of the communications media and in the new environment created by digital technology? I find an answer in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is also a parable about communication. Those who communicate, in effect, become neighbours. The Good Samaritan not only draws nearer to the man he finds half dead on the side of the road; he takes responsibility for him. Jesus shifts our understanding: it is not just about seeing the other as someone like myself, but of the ability to make myself like the other. Communication is really about realizing that we are all human beings, children of God. I like seeing this power of communication “neighbourliness”. 25 as Years of World Whenever Missioncommunication Magazine is primarily aimed at promoting consumption or manipulating others, we are dealing with a form of violent aggression like that suffered by the man in the parable, who was beaten by robbers and left abandoned on the road. The Levite and the priest do not regard him as a neighbour, but as a stranger to be kept at a distance. In those days, it was rules of ritual purity which conditioned their response. Nowadays there is a danger that certain media so condition our responses that we fail to see our real neighbour. It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply “connected”; connections need to grow into true encounters. We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness. Media strategies do not ensure beauty, goodness and truth in communication. The world of media also has to be concerned with humanity, it too is called to show tenderness. The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people. The impartiality of media is merely an appearance; only those who go out of themselves in their communication can become a true point of reference for others. Personal engagement is

making history

m arch 2014 • n o. 276 • VOL X X Vi • 50 pesos • ISSN 0116-8142


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As part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the World Mission magazine (19892014), its publishers, the Comboni Missionaries, issued a Commemorative jub ver Book as a memento –sil not only forile e heart of jesus oni missionaries of the Comb themselves but, most &especially, for the world mission maga zine magazine’s readers worldwide. Its first few pages contain inspiring messages – from a top government leader to some key church officials, and some known journalists/writers. The Book also presents selected articles of varied, interesting topics from World Mission’s previous issues – from its inception year up to the current year – and, therefore, under its different, challenged editorship. MCCJ

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To y, the fro ing ang action of Go tor ll“e itors e m e in thto of , urb com te anEd Th breofiers utha ard ato y atursenlyto sthe allyionadandsis turou T c go des) g ed ar mo ntain er estio o n rclu family ion of the d and (pa ion dies th gicpla er, pow s of vis al y eyrin a olo od faya s, t as CREonATI ganof need it d to nvir heon Hi lo aststheat spi ON ethemgrowinil, le.puia, nm net,to ritu er, sup m t og th niatze Bib hn to be on alth po es thAntec As peo d thho at le in busload all th pro do, IS STILLnyGOI hM il to oria h e Hm ngissariaes nigh aal remacy Sads em n Bo huNG udd e p the ast aAs awew dit ion ve jus ple lea dr and that wh are tha members nd dles mCh –p whgich tra d , punis theyoOld e; inaver nddispla ON st y ealth ,proandl: “thealt menisl.an he th t. y- d oth th ly, hm s o T m at at env iro r of e ut y wi ti rne u of is d tice o s es t ty a h n d h So ls o wa at sta the hu ance le e an in day,am d t all r, nment lo),. bo T he uneive tute ng and the an ,s vid Mo ysian e la glo ou 12– ent rain kerist sitter is a hu rm is na, but also tou rhe y and uun ey , the ide more ev aro Viaetn g peop Shan,m f ws”ateof Nedw alas and and sa g die fined. e00 gir the sur is not on pe rfo man chde3,0 s foa un ramTes M o cau a gir r mrse as esed th sren,me D es ergrd U n tes bal securi th cht cit Ka a ofhmioung hmo ly ab man right. 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It is years tus thatgislen Und of cli se av oponel say dconas ter ble ize o ch to ersre measu ore dhaof eand acc e c o ne is, itedde Na nbef in aits ofter De tepo c vel s eac s P ful er stto an no the el rlibera uthe nt the sci mate chan ago, the wo n ans under CTB ounts of mi a fact that, in f foo for res are ck n,x a relatio stothereguthe hun optro hautn oore stuchdJun ag e y“o th om fam ec e in ild iveverse stand04ing entis f P be lsnt.” thagutio nsh7ip ge we all reld igio Conracles. rries r h. Th g s.e ea 2010 ,5of th iliear s dproin p th la ucon e de eJanfome e e tio lin Rio ts an on ns, re abo nion rn discou hil of diess pro There t e); 20 tha and bri rl h tra ca ec vis , 00bet we foory.reCre aen n av edtoo m on eir erse rna,Go is, car r o aziwas held has becom d specialist limited to ut the eff th emstillyin ngs sal .indd t God doe ippbasicmne fit d ishowSuom n aatr d in thaatioen, acc e so obv ned edu o little ed edlian a sm ey m fo(Br e ta fr slamo institu s. No s interv after all, the vation l). “T 78 single in adces evfinish VIR ordinginto20not all cir ects sitives n er lik fro v ed,tor t an d , as mu tio he om p thvem iou pe advoan PCh d ent person 6,5ristiaby cateion th . ThEe sev TE ,” e th e wa r, era Ge eis ch as He ene in histor blethe op , ces in the Technolo n, the Ameri s that a pre ymore. Th cle of ge on . crecoatineg cpow n 4 CultsaibdyUN thr e e ter b2:1– du Uent ,lefood, e thr With the s and entire y are gy (M AMhID day 02nes can als stigio can Ma ou 4a, .eat m hil er of 0 bil1Sch to0sta bo 142 home % neideur.re theICEF/yeGe eat T com hea c IT) is us mo p o is p a p g dev ssa sus pu a A . , u pag h not lth aca Su Go mu vin expres re rsrman growt chuset lain nish h tainab ST S e ity In ti ch te demic e. To em gh end nities. the lenge, y Di sed h of ou elopment of Th in par d; oitn is the ts le devr mand a2key . T h socnial un Creatio g to. le t. T t Ev ofsery scienc r know on 00 proble it isinsai sho UFpla e m eoinequality rec- from the Institu derline the its worries Institute of n to com- ereu, rb s foyeaone elopm events FE ce where e, and led thent. 2, re on te byhwe ma the ef loo can be The sev ple80 an g cdh thautldGoRdING po ds, od r, y375 . In fam awh p l en it com is a tion’s late Presid chose, as an gnitude its web’s sm and explain ge, we rea lize the gradual ent h dayoft tion the rev ild be brougesp es to of the thine eomi water epigra ent Joh ed. Be plellion 2pe elation ht all eciallor g fam first we d that all pthe o n ref ren da w cha of the res 0 op iD ph, a sides, tha re maan sthan by d e many ek of the ofencre He doe c or a use Sahara y dra to mo quota lUS Co ources, urin nson’s let th atio JO sto we als a 10 le are threat s not pu t God is a me re fo aydo ter g end. It of addres plan tio n Af w ptic inethe SÉr nrm s., ere hnildis the universe ng o rec ouine re. S. e is a sig rciful e pato , about the n nish peo ren ason lyr bone sia thsed AR d The sit uatioened of intelligentlyressanin A196 t o are occ rica. Thoere ore moHo which is God. Ce eived We fail ette of n that both nareac its pre ne rn CofIL LAf ple wit 8: fIC d ,r.period n is in rts 118 cham “Ahenast cent live in the sev no sta thEF urr ing rtainly, r–UNthe the da h illness cious for y of A, ric star but a and to ng s tio ber bec wit S. dev a is an e ent d doe p / n ur s water te elo ause droug J | imper lec cla erpm Subsanot or death. ing tow baGerman hin ever do dre ou entEuro thaiet s, yddinin142 HI n, faithls ht an fect wo h day widll th tricis stil ST histor of its sho discsov dntr sslrogoi ards Go 042 Yet, cou d Ofam th0.in be con s Silkandppro e rld: a wo sities y plans to smaller gw wi e to rts RI ANy are thon. d, and indeed er y e se ity CTB demne Roa thtec ro tio trea a vo omngis clear, werigh ted rld . Taccess expect ork uatisuch as provide 50 time spans. ANrui ns ofss. its end tha in t is ove wr e befo ne to witughnth sures D PR of on theThe yage d d. ,mo s to fin Soma , in Hi 0,0 thehene to. Scleanon ce pro becaitte ferwvn th Hu ha th W O FE heher e d its com m. It is rext thrchhe wa byter an lia and Ca 00 chile h ma Euud me aonrethe ra ocean rds les atsons n th long te then acc a eeore iliz fa redes ple ert A STRONG SS O R as ropciv d san mbod tion ons.” and edrosan sh ea ati m nit , xari tboanregro peanoyea ut endeofd e Por eptabl in ocom rs to ita ia, lshas tu alw tac kle ry fac ilit e toforthi espla It sou POSITIVhiE the fi n co ion an very eds to and in ok Ooftup enss an ntin nds pro stACT ays 118 ies the gues nk sothiniatng and NG the pro d a exp the a coo sam or ION rst e utitthe th in abo rdi Cam riph blem. its peak. tin lacd Asi Osbeare na etic.ical step ent. D feve ensive East, chan ch 12n en e ted d g un an m Wr ite es After in th es ge M r w chbat71tle, th co an of sci mkuof con anafd inbalu s cre crib all ar good hat s the and ar44 k si te ntactimous entis Wes e cil(B ch e ins ound s - ei aga ed the hayea tsAan t to MI measube M feo. achiev or rep Vent the ea nce d rs, wthe T: 50

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Comboni mission Center Manila, Philippines Rd., Parañaque City 1715, M. Villa Mendoza Subd., Sucat 7885 Segundo Mendoza St., Tel: (02) 829–0740; 829–7481 il.com E-mail: wm.promotion@gma

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Msgr. Arsenio R. Bautista CHAPLAIN HOSPICIO DE SAN JOSE, MANILA

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ORDER FORM mode of payment:

name: address: phone: No. of copies:

• Bank transfer (BDO, Villa Mendoza – Sucat Branch, Acct. No. 005280011577, Acct. Name: Comboni World Mission). – ­Please send us, by fax or ordinary mail, a copy of the deposit slip with your name and address. • Money order or crossed cheque. • Dial 829-0740/829-7481 for pick up. (In Metro Manila, we will send our messenger to you on a scheduled date.

Please contact: Comboni Mission Center # 7885 Segundo Mendoza Street, Villa Mendoza Subd., Sucat, 1715 Parañaque City, M.M. – PHILIPPINES Tel: (+63-2) 829-0740 • 829-7481 • Fax: (+63-2) 820-1422 • E-mail: wm.promotion@gmail.com

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The dream lives on

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The Asian Catholic Monthly Magazine

www.worldmission.ph

MAILING ADDRESS: 7885 Segundo Mendoza Street Villa Mendoza Subd. - Sucat 1715 Parañaque City, M.M. - PHILIPPINES TEL.: (+63-2) 829-0740/829-7481 FAX: (+63-2) 820-1422 E-Mail: wm.editor@gmail.com

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OWNER AND PUBLISHER: WORLD MISSION is published monthly by the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus as part of their ministry and program of missionary awareness in Asia. WORLD MISSION magazine is registered at DI–BDT and at the National Library (ISSN 0116-8142). EDITOR: Fr. Dave C. Domingues, MCCJ REDACTION: Corazon A. Uy (secretary), Joey Villarama and Fr. Lorenzo Carraro, MCCJ (staff writers) COLLABORATORS: Fr. Jose Rebelo,MCCJ (South Africa) Fr. Joseph Caramazza (UK), Kris Bayos (Philippines) and Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil (India) MANAGEMENT: Fr. Raul Tabaranza, MCCJ wm.administration@gmail.com Ma. Corazon P. Molvizar (secretary) Angeles S. de Vera (circulation) PROMOTION: Fr. Dave C. Domingues, MCCJ wm.promotion@gmail.com ART & DESIGN DIRECTION: Ric M. Gindap GRAPHICS & DESIGN: Victor Garcia SUBSCRIPTION RATES: (11 issues and Calendar) Regular (Philippines):.........................P500.00/year Six months (Philippines):...........................P300.00 Overseas–Air mail: Asia................................US$35 Rest of the world.............................................US$40 DISTRIBUTION: WORLD MISSION is distributed to subscribers by mail. Entered as Second Class Mail at the Parañaque Central Post Office under Permit No. 214-89 (March 9, 1989; valid until December 31, 2014). Published monthly in Parañaque City, M.M. Composition: World Mission. Printed by Lexmedia Digital Corp. Change of address: Please send both the old and the new addresses. Copyright © World Mission magazine. All rights reserved. Contents are not to be reproduced, republished, sold or otherwise distributed, modified or altered without permission from the editor.

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wenty-five years have passed – from a dream to a reality: from the maiden issue to the evolvement of the World Mission magazine until today. The purpose was and is clear – to inform and form the readers from a missionary point of view, fostering a greater missionary commitment in the spirit of St. Daniel Comboni. Above the many changes since then, a pressing question must now be addressed: In this digital age and fragmented society where printed magazines struggle to survive, does World Mission still have a place? My honest answer is: YES! It does have a place because its mission is far from being accomplished. Three challenges remain constant for World Mission as it continues to fulfill its role amid a more challenging reality. First: to keep an ever-watchful reading of the ‘signs of the times.’ Second: to maintain a continuous effort to speak a language that is understood by the new generation and to foster dialogue. And third: to have the courage to remain faithful to its values, to its missionary focus, and to the Gospel. A careful and attentive reading of the reality in this diverse yet globalized world, provides the background for an efficacious communication. This is important not just to share information about what is happening around the world, but to help readers ref lect and draw lessons from the ‘signs of the times.’ We cannot afford to be distant and confined to ourselves and our own agenda, or be alienated from how people live, what they experience and dream about. Nor can we fail to provide an interpretation of what we are living for. It is, therefore, essential that we speak a language that can be understood by all, particularly by the young generation. Our mission is to reach out, to move people to reflection and

Dave Domingues EDITOR

We want to be a missionary presence that can continue to inspire, inform, and rouse the desire in people’s hearts for a renewed commitment to the Church, to society, and to a better world.

growth, to cultivate a missionary spirit where co-responsibility, empathy and solidarity will motivate the youth to commit anew to a common good, overcoming a selfish and individualistic approach – often lauded as the road to fulfillment and happiness, yet it often leads to emptiness and senseless lives. We believe in the potential of the young; to them belongs the future of the Church and, therefore, the future of mission. The values we advocate are rooted in the Gospel. Our plight is for equality, human dignity, justice, peace, integrity of creation, interreligious dialogue and to communicate a Church that has a missionary heart with particular love for the less fortunate. Our aim, in the words of Pope Francis to the participants of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications last September, is “to communicate a face of the church that is ‘home’ to all.” We dare to dream of a world where people can treasure their differences and appreciate their commonality. In the midst of disoriented lives, isolation, increasing loss of meaning to life, and fear, we hope to build meaningful relationships with those we reach out to, our readers, providing a space for dialogue and discernment. We want to be a missionary presence that can continue to inspire, inform, and rouse the desire in people’s hearts for a renewed commitment to the Church, to society, and to a better world for all. Yes, the dream lives on!

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your letters Write to: The Editor, World Mission Magazine • 7885 Segundo Mendoza Street, Villa Mendoza Subd. − Sucat 1715 Parañaque City, M.M. – Philippines • E-mail: wm.editor@gmail.com LOOKING FORWARD My first introduction to the World Mission magazine was in 1995, when a certain Fr. John of the Comboni Missionaries in Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City, offered me a copy. From being initially curious, I soon became impressed with the magazine until I found myself looking forward to the next issue with great eagerness! Having been familiar with the demands of printing (because of my Don Bosco experience), I understood the exorbitant cost of printing a magazine in glossy paper material, with its colorful layout of myriads of colors! Read the magazine’s content to discover the variety of its topics (from slave-trade to mental illness), the depth of analysis in its scrutiny, the timeliness of its appeal to modern man, as well as the perspicacity of the gifted writers and authors. Obtain a copy and you end up asking: “Why is this magazine priced so cheaply?” Truly this magazine should rank among the best in present-day Catholic literature. Congratulations! « FR. RIO EVANGELISTA , Jesus the Divine Healer Parish, Parañaque, Philippines

CARING FOR OTHERS A lot of times I find myself too preoccupied with so many things at home and at work. I forget to press the ‘pause button’ in my life and focus on other things and other people. Reading through the pages of World Mission magazine, slowly but surely, allow me to immerse in the realities of life. Pope Francis calls each and every one to reach out to the marginalized. We need to look after our sisters and brothers who need our help and our care. World Mission magazine shows us the hope and goodness in humanity. World Mission magazine invites us to get to know the missionary spirit, so that we too, can work with the Comboni Missionaires and share in their mission of bringing people closer together and striving for a better world. Happy 25th anniversary to World Mission magazine! May you continue to inspire us to be better servants of Christ, for God and His people. Congratulations on reaching another milestone, and we all look forward to your next 25 years in print and mission! « Josephine Pujeda, Taipei, Taiwan (Received By E-Mail)

BEARING THE LIGHT Here is joyfully sending you my warmest greetings and sincerest congratulations on the 25th anniversary of World Mission magazine, the monthly publication of the Comboni Missionaries. I also wish to acknowledge the beautiful and inspiring commemorative book you sent us which was published for the historic and momentous occasion. Indeed, the Comboni Missionaries continue to bear the light of the Gospel to the ends of the earth despite the many challenges that beset the world today. Your commemorative book not only chronicles the memorable journeys of your missionaries and reflects on relevant themes across the globe but also inspires our people to love and live out the faith with an ever greater missionary spirit. I take this occasion to assure you of my prayerful support and spiritual closeness in all your missionary work and apostolate. May you always enkindle in us and all peoples the light of faith and the love of Jesus. « Most Rev. Sofronio A. Bancud, SSS, DD, Bishop of Cabanatuan, Philippines

Visit Our Website: www.worldmission.ph JOIN us! www.facebook.com/worldmissionmagazine

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subscribing to world mission Subscribers and friends: For your convenience, you may now remit renewal fees by: • Bank transfer (BDO, Villa Mendoza – Sucat Branch, Acct. No. 005280011577, Acct. Name: Comboni World Mission). If you will use this method, please send us, by fax or ordinary mail, the copy of the deposit slip with your name and address. • Money order in favor of World Mission Magazine. • Crossed cheque payable to World Mission Magazine. • Dial 829-0740/829-7481 for pick up. (In Metro Manila, we will send our messenger to you on a scheduled date.) Note 1: If, by any chance, you are having problems in receiving World Mission Magazine, please let us know soonest so that we can take appropriate action. Note 2: We would like to encourage our valued subscribers who have not updated their record with us to do so as soon as possible. Please help us to provide you the best service you deserve. Thank you!

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

www.worldmission.ph events to remember in march 05 - Ash Wednesday 09 - Migrants' Sunday 15 - Birthday of Saint Daniel Comboni 19 - Solemnity of Saint Joseph 21 - Int’l Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 22 - World Water Day 25 - Solemnity of the Annunciation prayer For Evangelization

That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.


inside THE POWER OF THE WORD

The print media, through the years, has resisted the challenges presented by the emergence of more interactive means of communication such as radio, TV and, more recently, cellphones, I-pads and all the venues provided by internet – from blogs to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Far from being alienated from this wave of new communications, the Church, while continuing to make use of print media, has tried to make use of these new means to reach out to people of all generations and to bring across the message of the Gospel. Media, when properly used, can be a powerful tool at the service of mission. Though it does not replace personal encounter with people, media now offers new venues for interaction, and for the proclamation of the Gospel. The passion, intensity and depth that Jesus placed into His words should continue to inspire Catholic media practitioners today, knowing that written words have a profound and long-lasting effect on all generations. While it is a great privilege to be involved in the print media, it also spells an enormous responsibility.

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making history

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Missionary vocation | Fr. titus brandsma

25 Years of World Mission

Journalist and martyr By Fr. Lorenzo Carraro, MCCJ

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WM special | media and mission

world touch

THE LAST WORD

The first pope scandalizes the Christians By Fr. SILVANO FAUSTI, sJ

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You Must Announce from the Housetops (Mt 10:27)

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First line of proclamation

By archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, sdb

By fr. Joseph Caramazza, mccj

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a choice between market & people

By Roberto Savio, Contributor

WORLD MISSION has the exclusive services of the following magazines for Asia: ALÉM-MAR (Portugal); MUNDO NEGRO (Spain); NIGRIZIA (Italy); NEW PEOPLE (Kenya); WORLDWIDE (South Africa), AFRIQUESPOIR (DR of Congo); ESQUILA MISIONAL (Mexico); MISION SIN FRONTERAS (Peru); and IGLESIA SINFRONTERAS (Colombia).

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w o r l dto u c h AFRICA

Billions that the poor won’t touch With its two-trillion-dollar economy, recent discoveries of billions of dollars worth of minerals and oil, and the number of investment opportunities it has to offer global players, Africa is slowly shedding its image as a development burden. “While global direct investment has shown some decline – dropping by 18% in 2012 – in Africa, foreign direct investment rose by 5%,” Ken Ogwang, an economic expert affiliated with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) which has a membership of over 60 businesses, said. Since 2012, Kenya has made a series of mineral discoveries, including the unearthing of 62.4B dollars worth of Niobium – a rare earth deposit. The discovery in Kenya’s Kwale county has made the area among the world’s top five rare earth deposits sites, and allows Kenya to enter a market that has long been dominated by China. In 2012, Kenya discovered 600M barrels of oil reserves in Turkana county, one of the country’s poorest regions. It was announced, on Jan. 15, that two more wells struck oil, increasing estimate reserves to one billion barrels of oil. But Kenya, East Africa’s economic powerhouse, is not the only African nation that has made fresh mineral discoveries. “The recent boom in new mining discoveries in countries such as Niger, Sierra Leone and Zambia will attract billions in foreign direct investments. Other countries like Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda will similarly attract billions due to petroleum discoveries there,” Antony Mokaya of the Kenya Land Alliance, a local umbrella network of NGOs and individuals working on land reforms, stated. Last year, both Uganda and Mozambique discovered oil. In 2006, an estimated two billion barrels of oil reserves were discovered in western Uganda, but last year’s discovery brings Uganda’s total oil deposits to 3.5B barrels. Mozambique’s first oil discovery last year is estimated to be 200M barrels. Ogwang predicts that

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these discoveries will soon see African countries dominating the list of the 15 fastest-growing economies in the world. “More African countries, Kenya being a model example in East Africa, now favor a market-based economy which is highly competitive and the most liberal economic system. “In this system, market trends are driven by supply and demand with very few restrictions on who the actors are. It it a favorable environment for foreign investors,” he said, referring to the local mobile phone industry, which has been dominated by foreign investors because of its favorable regulatory policies. “As a result, growth in this sector is phenomenal. In the first 11 months of 2013, Kenya’s mobile phone money transactions were 19.5B dollars, which is more than the country’s current 18.4-billion-dollar national budget.” Ogwang says that even more importantly, African countries are increasingly strengthening their partnerships with the East. Statistics by the Africa Economic Outlook, which provides comprehensive data on African economies, show that China is the largest destination for African exports, accounting for a quarter of all exports. Trade with Brazil, Russia, India and China – the economic bloc referred to as

BRIC’s – now accounts for 36% or 144B dollars of Africa’s exports, up from only 9% in 2002. In comparison, Africa’s trade with the European Union and the United States combined, totals 148B dollars. But Terry Mutsvanga, director of the Coalition Against Corruption, an anticorruption lobby group in Zimbabwe, cautioned that Africa will first have to rein in its corrupt politicians before its resources can enrich its own people. According to The World Bank, some of the world’s poorest people live in Africa, with one out of two Africans living in extreme poverty. “Without Afr ica dealing with the cancer of political corruption blighting the continent and robbing it of revenue from mineral resources through corrupt politicians receiving bribes from investors … the continent shall continue to have the worst poverty levels globally,” Mutsvanga said. Independent economic analyst, Jameson Gatawa from Zimbabwe, agreed. “Underhanded dealings in the mining of diamonds and other rich minerals here have fuelled poverty. The rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer,” Gatawa said. www.ipsnews.net/Miriam Gathigah and Jeffrey Moyo


PHILIPPINES

New gun law will not stop crime The new law on firearms has sparked heated debate in the Philippines where, in 2013 alone, over 220 thousand crimes were committed including robberies, murders, assaults, violence. The new norm is the final version of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, of June 2013, which allows at-risk groups to carry firearms. These include journalists, lawyers, activists and priests often victims of kidnapping, summary killings and robberies by groups of terrorists or criminals. According to the previous law, such categories were treated like any other citizen and had to show that they are "under real threat" to bear arms. Critics of the law state that while the government now allows individuals at risk to defend themselves, it still does not make any headway in preventing crimes. According to government data, there are little more than 1M registered weapons nationwide, while there are over 800 thousand illegal. The government argues that, under the new law, it is possible to reduce the illicit trafficking of firearms but, as stated by Philstar journalist Jarius Bondocit, it does not "make sense to increase the restrictions if a general climate of impunity continues to persist." So far, the Church has not yet made statements but already, in July 2013, the bishops had objected to the decree stating that "missionaries are, by definition, nonviolent and get their protection from the angels, not from arms." On other hand, the new norm, while expanding permission to those groups at

risk, provides for more severe penalties for those who carry guns and ammunition illegally. The sanctions have passed from the current four months to four years in prison. There are also more restrictions on the purchase of arms. Those who wish to obtain a license must pass a drug test and a psychiatric evaluation. With it, the buyer can go to any armory and buy a registered firearm. The third step is the authorization to carry firearms outside of the home. During the presidency of Fidel Ramos, all licenses to carry firearms were suspended, although the illegal trade in guns and even weapons of war was flourishing in the country. Nandy Pacheco, president of the Gunless Society, points out that the new law has many obscure points. In fact, the text "allows collectors to own up to 15 weapons, but does not explain what the requirements and criteria for considering a person 'collector' are." The risk is that many people can create their own arsenal. Lawyer and human rights activist Harry Roque stated: "While there is a stop-gap measure, we are not able to make the justice system work." "More weapons" – he adds – "even if registered, only bring problems. With this loophole politicians will continue to maintain their own private armies." The positions of the Church and of the activists are at odds with those of President Aquino's who is a known lover of weapons. Recently speaking to a group of students visiting the presidential palace, he said he owned dozens of guns and that shooting is a method to combat stress. www.asianews.it

CHINA

Killer smog Pollution in China kills between 350 and 500 thousand people each year. This was revealed by an article in the British scientific journal The Lancet co- authored by Chen Zhu, president of the Medical Association of China, formerly the Minister for Health under President Hu Jintao. In the text, the authors admit that "despite best efforts, it will be difficult to control the phenomenon, since there are huge sources of pollution and of very different kinds." The main cause of the blanket of smog is PM 2.5 (particulate matter – Airborne dust 2.5 micrometers per cubic meter) caused by industrial production and intensified by the arrival of winter. The cold causes the ignition of millions of radiators which, in turn, increase the consumption of the coal burned in power plants. In Shanghai, last month, the levels of PM2.5 exceeded 600 micrometers per cubic meter while, in Beijing, they have touched 473: the World Health Organization’s limit for healthy air is 25 micrometers per cubic meter. The Beijing government has allocated 1.7 trillion Yuan (216 billion Euro) to reducing emissions from power stations and moderating the effects of traffic. The head of the environmental protection in Beijing, Wang Bin, argues that "soon" Beijing will follow the road of London, Los Angeles and Tokyo and become a "green city." One of the most important Chinese environmental scientists, Professor Zhang Shiqui, describes the issue as "a real challenge for China, which must try to balance economic development, the war on poverty and the protection of health. It will be difficult to get citizens to change their habits of consumption, just as it is difficult to convert cars to a more ecocompatible product" www.asianews.it

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WORLD

Eighty-five richest people as wealthy as the poorest half of the world The world's wealthiest people aren't known for travelling by bus, but if they fancied a change of scene, then the richest 85 people on the globe – who among them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single double-decker. The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called 'global elite' is exposed in a new report from OxFam. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1 trillion, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world's population. The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion (£60.88T), or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world, added the development charity, which fears this concen-

tration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions. It's a chilling reminder of the depths of wealth inequality as political leaders and top business people gathered at the snowy peaks of Davos for the World Economic Forum. Winnie Byanyima, the OxFam executive director who attended the Davos meeting, said: "It is staggering that, in

www.theguardian.com

the 21st century, half of the world's population – that's three-and-a-half billion people – own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus." OxFam also argues that this is no accident either, saying that growing inequality has been driven by a "power grab" by wealthy elites, who have co-opted the political process to rig the rules of the economic system in their favor. In the report, OxFam warned that the fight against poverty cannot be won until wealth inequality has been tackled. "Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the tabletop," Byanyima said. www.theguardian.com/ Graeme Wearden

“We need to generate an inner transformation of the Church’s structures, starting from the mission; we cannot expect the faithful to come to the temple; it is the Church that must mingle with people in the places where they live.” – Arch. Carlos Aguiar, former President of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference and President of the Episcopal Conferences of Latin America (CELAM), talking about “pastoral conversion” and “continental missions” www.vaticaninsider.lastampa.it

“Each one, in his own role and with his own responsibility, is called to be vigilant in maintaining a high level of ethics in communications, and to avoid those things which create so much damage: disinformation, defamation, and slander. Maintain the level of ethics.” – Pope Francis, in a meeting with the employees of Italy’s National Broadcasters, last January.

“I remind you that your profession, in addition to being informative, is formative; it is a public service, that is, a service for the common good, a service for truth, for goodness, and for beauty.” – Idem, Ibidem

"The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people." – Pope Francis, in his message for World Communications Day. www.catholicnews.com

“Beyond the geopolitical risks that Syria’s civil war has created, the suffering of millions of human beings cries out for an end to the violence. ” – Javier Solana, President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, speaking at the Geneva II Middle East Peace Conference, held last January 22. www.project-syndicate.org

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SOUTH AFRICA

More than 1,000 rhinos killed in 2013

CHRISTIANITY

Sharp increase in anti-Christian violence Over the course of the past year, persecution against Christians has increased across the whole world and Africa is gradually becoming “a battlefield for Christian Churches,” too. This was revealed by the 2014 World Watch List, the annual report on the state of anti-Christian violence across the world, introduced in 1997 by the international evangelical NGO, ‘Open Doors.’ Research is based on the monitoring of fifty countries where Christians are believed to face the highest risk of persecution. Each country scores points based on various criteria such as news regarding single acts of violence, the daily repression experienced by the faithful through laws or acts of intimidation which prevent the exercise of religious freedom. Korea ranked top in the list of countries that are most hostile towards Christians for the twelfth year running. It is the only country where the persecution level is “absolute.” It is followed by another twelve countries where the persecution level is “extreme.” Topping this list is Somalia (which moved from fifth to second place), followed by Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen. But ranking aside, what Open Doors was keen to draw attention to was the overall worsening of the situation of Christians in the world: twelve months ago, all fifty countries, put together, scored a total of 2,683 points. This year, this figure has shot to 3,019. In other words, it is as if the global situation has worsened by 12.5%. Another clear trend that has emerged

is Africa’s increasingly prominent presence on the persecution map: Somalia is not the only country that has seen a surge in violence. The Central African Republic, a country which, until last year, showed no signs of a need for monitoring, now ranks 16th in the list of countries where faith has the highest cost. The ongoing civil war has partly to do with this. Eighteen African countries feature in the Open Doors list of 50 countries where the risk of anti-Christian persecution is highest and there are 36 countries where Islamic radicalism is responsible for the persecution of Christians. In the twelve months accounted for in the Open Doors World Watch List, 2,123 Christians were killed and 1,044 violent persecution cases were recorded. Not surprisingly, the highest number of victims was recorded in Syria (1,213), followed by Nigeria (612), while the highest number of violent attacks was recorded in Egypt (167 cases), followed by India (125) and Nigeria (118). Open Doors draws attention to the fact that one of the fifty countries being monitored is Colombia. Colombia’s Christians are certainly not a minority but Open Doors has ranked them 25th in the list of countries where persecution is classified as “severe” because of the lootings and murders against those who oppose the rebel guerrillas and other criminal activities. Meanwhile, China comes 30th and has been included in the list of countries where persecution is “moderate.” www.vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/ Giorgio Bernardelli

The Syrian civil war, now in its 32nd month, has claimed the lives of more than 115,000. There are 6.5 million internally displaced Syrians, and another 2.3 million have become refugees, most of them in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. − www.catholicnewsagency.com

More than 1,000 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year at a record-breaking rate that could wipe out the country's entire population of white and black rhinos in a little over two decades. The environment ministry said 1,004 animals were killed in 2013, mostly in poaching hotspot Kruger National Park, as the poaching crisis escalated. The number is a big increase on the 668 killed in 2012, which was in itself a record year, from just 13 in 2007. Appetite for rhino horn from Asia, in particular Vietnam, has driven the killing in South Africa. Demand is so high that a kilogram of rhino horn is now worth more than gold or cocaine. Conservationists said action must be taken now. Tom Milliken, rhino expert at wildlife trade monitors, Traffic, said: "South Africa and Mozambique [a transit hub for wildlife products leaving Africa] must decisively level up their game if they hope to stop this blatant robbery of southern Africa's natural heritage. The year 2014 must mark the turning point where the world collectively says, 'enough is enough' and brings these criminal networks down. Governments and NGOs have argued, in recent years, that the illegal wildlife trade has become a national security issue, rather than just an environmental one. The channeling of funds from poaching to terrorist groups has led the U.S. intelligence community to begin tracking often heavily-armed poachers. "Rhino horn trafficking and consumption are not simply environmental issues; they represent threats to the very fabric of society," said Miliken. Dr. Jo Shaw, rhino program manager for WWF-South Africa, said: "These criminal networks are threatening our national security and damaging our economy by frightening away tourists." South Africa said it increased the number of arrests of poachers from 267 in 2012, to 343 in 2013, though the number represents a decrease in the percentage of rhinos killed in total. The South African government said 37 rhino have already been poached in 2014. There are around 18,000 white and 4,000 www.theblack rhinos in the country. guardian.com/Adam Vaughan

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C.A.R.

Major food crisis looms in Farmers in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), which has been immersed in violence since a coup in March 2013, urgently need more seeds and tools to avert a nationwide food crisis, aid agencies have warned. As many as “94% of communities report that they do not have enough seeds to plant for the next agricultural season” this March, according to the findings of a Multisectorial Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) of humanitarian needs in C.A.R., which was undertaken by several U.N. agencies. “People told us their fields had been burned, they have lost their tools, their goats and poultry, and many women’s groups have lost their milling equipment. All this has had a serious impact on food security. We estimate that, currently, 1.2 million people in the country are food insecure, and 40% of those are severe.” Burgeon said considerable amounts of food aid are needed urgently to cover the hunger gap and, beyond that, it is essential to give people the means to restart production. FAO, he said, has decided to treat C.A.R. as a priority for the whole organization and to lobby not only for a short-term response but also for a longer-term revival of the country’s agricultural sector. “The most urgent needs are… assistance with seeds and tools for helping people to recover their livelihoods. We, in the international community, have to mobilize very strongly in support of agriculture in this country. We’ve got to focus on helping people to help themselves,” he said. OCHA estimates that 886,000 people are displaced in C.A.R., including 500,000 in Bangui. The hundreds of thousands displaced in the countryside need to go home for the planting season, said Ging. He emphasized that 2.6 million – half of the population – now need humanitarian assistance, owing to acute poverty as well as widespread displacement. Seeds and food stocks are in short supply: most people surveyed said their meal consumption has dropped from three times to once a day. www.irinnews.org

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CHURCH

Pope elevates 2 Asians, 17 others as cardinals Pope Francis formally invested 19 new cardinals in a solemn rite at St. Peter’s Basilica on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. This is the first batch of collaborators that Francis has named in his year-old papacy. Vested in scarlet, the cardinals received their biretta, the four-cornered hat, from the Pope. Red is the symbol of the cardinals’ willingness to “spill their blood for the faith.” The cardinals also received new rings, representing their fidelity to the Holy Father. Sixteen of the cardinals are either heads of Vatican offices or bishops of dioceses from every part of the world. They will be eligible to vote in a papal conclave until their 80th birthday. The remaining three are “over 80” archbishops, whom Francis decided to honor for their service to the Church. The Pope’s decision to select some bishops from dioceses that are not traditionally headed by cardinals is consistent with his desire to reach out to the “peripheries of the world,” where the poor live. Among the cardinals from these “peripheries” are bishops from Haiti, Burkina Faso, and southern Philippines. Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) hailed the elevation of Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo as the country’s 8th cardinal, the first from conflict-torn Mindanao. CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas described Quevedo as an “intellectual heavyweight,” a pastor who is “truly passionate for the formation of basic ecclesial communities.” The National Catholic Reporter, meanwhile, described Quevedo, who headed the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), as the “architect of Asian pastoral churches.” Aside from Cardinal Quevedo, Seoul Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung is the only other Asian to make it to Francis’ “first class.” Born to a family of Christian martyrs, Cardinal Soo-jung heads the third largest Catholic community in Asia. His elevation as cardinal manifests Francis’ constant appeal for peace, especially in the Korean Peninsula, where hope for reconciliation and reunification remains high. Throughout his episcopal ministry, Cardinal Soo-jung, concurrently the Apostolic Administrator for Pyongyang, North Korea, has continually expressed a strong eagerness for dialogue and peace despite renewed tension between the two countries.


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making history • 25 years of world mission

Moments of wonder Fr. Manuel Augusto Lopes Ferreira WM Editor (1989-1993)

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very month, when I receive the copy of World Mission magazine, I savor unique moments of wonder. I am now based in Lisbon editing Além-Mar, the missionary magazine published in Portugal by the Comboni Missionaries. As I open and go through the pages of World Mission, memories of the past and deep feelings of pride come to my mind and heart. As I look at the photos, stare at the beauty of the pages and overall layout (always clean and harmonious) as I read the texts and see the timeliness of the topics and articles, I consider and say to myself: World Mission has indeed gone far, affirming itself as a mission magazine in the Filipino Church and, at large, in Asia, and becoming every month a valid instrument of missionary awareness. The memories of its beginning come f lowing like a river of fresh waters: our arrival, in July 1988, at Roosevelt Avenue, in New Manila; the setting of a small office at No. 282, just one room, with one small computer for the works – writing, correcting, doing the layout; contacting the first collaborators and contributors; searching for the printing press; and then, the editing and printing of the first issue, in March 1989. Unlike the current issues with glossy paper and colored photos, the paper, then, was rough and brownish, newspaper style; the photos were black

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and white. But, then, World Mission magazine made a difference with its layout style and, especially, its missionminded contents, its vision of a global and missionary Church. World Mission – the name chosen for the magazine – was inspired by the slogan “The Philippine Church Open to the World” to build up awareness of a Church that is truly Catholic, open to the world, missionary in its nature and action. Since that historic month of March 1989, editing, publishing and distributing World Mission every month has been a miracle of God’s providence and of human creativity. Since I left the country, in 1995, several editors have taken over the task of keeping World Mission going. I am grateful to World Mission for updating me about the church in Asia and its missionary thrust, as I am grateful to God for making me an instrument in the launching of the magazine. World Mission nurtures in me an interest in and a love for Asia that linger on in my missionary journey. Twenty-five years have passed. They added more white to my hair but to World Mission, they brought beauty, youthfulness, intellectual vigor, a new generation of editors, writers and layout artists. Long live World Mission magazine and the Comboni Missionaries in their task of fostering missionary awareness among the Asian local churches!

dreamING World Mission appears this month of March 1989 as a dream of a group of missionaries willing to foster missionary awareness in the Philippines. Vol. I, Issue No. 1 March 1989

Vol. I, Issue No. 7 September 1989

The Filipino Church has particular responsibilities towards China. Our information aims at awakening this sense of responsibility in the readers so that the Filipino Catholics may become the foremost protagonists.

The Christian faith values the human person for what he or she is – a human being, image of the Divinity – and not for what he or she produces on the economic scale. Vol. V, Issue No. 8, September 1993


Animating the Asian Church Fr. Francisco Carrera WM Editor (1994-1999)

PROCLAIMING

Vol. VI, Issue No. 8 September 1994

Vol. VIII, Issue No. 8 September 1996

Vol. X, Issue No.5 June 1998

Moved by the material poverty of more than half of the Filipino population and inspired by the doctrine of the Church, the PCP II felt that God urgently calls the Philippine Church to become the "Church of the poor."

During the Khmer Rouge reign of terror, many Cambodian Catholics lost their lives and all church structures were destroyed. The survivors want to reconstruct the church and make her truly Cambodian.

A great task lies ahead; but our hope and prayer is that this Synod will be a New Pentecost that will give renewed impetus to the evangelization of Asia in the forthcoming millennium.

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had the privilege to serve as editor of World Mission from January 1994 to January 1999. During the early years of my service, many events marked the life and the mission of the Universal Church and they had a deep impact on the Church in Asia and on the still young World Mission magazine: the special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops (1st African Synod), in March 1994; Pope John Paul II’s visit to Manila for the 10th World Youth Day, from 12 to16 January 1995; and the beatification of St. Daniel Comboni, in March 1996. In those years, the Church, in general, and the Comboni family, in particular, were touched by a renewed spirit of commitment to the mission in announcing the Gospel of Christ to the whole world. Asia, the most populated and least evangelized continent, had become the main focus of this new missionary impulse. It was evident that the evangelization of the Asian continent would only be possible through the leading participation of the Church in Asia. World Mission magazine was launched in 1989 to help animate and sustain the missionary spirit of the local churches of the continent so that they would be able to fulfill the mission that God has entrusted to them at that crucial moment in history. World Mission magazine was, in its early years, a kind of forum that

brought to the forefront the already rich and fruitful evangelizing experiences of Asian missionaries, both in their own continent and beyond its borders. World Mission helped many Christians in Asia, and in the Philippines, in particular, realize that their Churches, despite their poverty, could be missionaries to themselves and to other parts of the world which, in fact, they already were. Although it is almost 15 years since I left the magazine to continue my missionary service in Africa, I still remember, with admiration, the generous response of the people, clergy and laity to the missionary invitation. Many other people committed themselves to collaborate in the missionary activity of the Church in different ways. The enthusiastic response moved the Comboni Missionaries in the Philippines to create the “Friends of the Missions,” a group of Catholic Filipinos who, imbued with the missionary spirit, offered their friendship, their prayers and their material support for the spreading of the Gospel in Asia and elsewhere. World Mission magazine opened a section to accompany, form and animate this group of lay people, which, today, continues alive and vibrant. May the Lord bless World Mission magazine in its 25th anniversary and keep it “young” at the service of the missionary Church in Asia.

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making history • 25 years of world mission

A strong sense of the global Fr. david k. glenday WM Editor (1999-2003)

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am very grateful for this opportunity to be part of the celebration of World Mission’s Silver Jubilee celebrations and to think back to my four years as editor. I am not being facetious when I say that two of the best things about my tenure were my predecessor, Fr. Francisco Carrera, and my successor, Fr. Corrado De Robertis. Francisco left me many important signposts for the work of an editor: hard work and wholehearted dedication, careful attention to what is going on in the world so as to focus well on the message the magazine wants to communicate, and a sense of balance for the various components that go to make WM what it aims to be. Corrado’s discreet manner, on the other hand, allowed for a smooth and efficacious transition, and for the continuity which has been one of WM’s secrets of success. And what were the things important to me as editor? What did it mean to me to help make WM an agent of intelligent analysis for our readers? Well, first of all there was – and is! – the conviction that no situation can be well understood outside of its global context: missionaries have a strong sense of the global, and always want to call their interlocutors to a sense of this, and of how it is essential to understand others, especially others who are different, in order to properly and

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fully understand oneself. Secondly, intelligent analysis for us begins with the faith-perspective: there is no one more global than God! During my short time as editor, we tried to water the spiritual roots of mission in our readers’ lives, and to show that spirituality, far from bolstering a disincarnate faith, must lead to energetic and creative commitment to the cause of the other, and especially of the poorest and most abandoned. In this regard, I am especially happy to have been the first editor to invite Fr. Lorenzo Carraro to contribute to the magazine – with a piece on St Teresa of the Child Jesus, patroness of missions and missionaries. Given Lorenzo’s prolific output since then, I think I can claim to have been at least a little prophetic! Thirdly, for Christians, intelligent analysis of any situation always, in the end, generates a sense of call and challenge. From the beginning, WM has had, as part of its DNA, the responsibility of stirring up in its many readers the awareness of their capacity and responsibility to transmit the life-giving faith they live. Twenty-five years of WM is truly something worth celebrating, and may the magazine continue to be a sign of and challenge to the missionary spirit and responsibility of God’s people in Asia.

informing

Vol. XI, No. 8 September 1999

In the positive modern developments in the relations between the sexes, there persists in many quarters a deep-seated machismo, a male self-image that does harm to all.

The Church needs to challenge her young people to be missionaries: not just to think, talk or learn about mission, but actually to do it.

Vol. XII, No. 7 September 2001

Vol. XIV, No. 8 September 2002

John Paul II challenges everyone to grow in the art of prayer, to learn afresh how to pray, underlining that a deeply prayerful life is the birhtright of every single baptized person.


Environmentally friendly Fr. corR ado de robertis WM Editor (2003-2005)

CHALLENGING

Vol. XV, No. 7 August 2003

Vol. XVI, No. 3 March 2004

The Church must yearn for the world to come, but must also live in the world that is here and, therefore, must strive to effect globalization in a way that will proclaim the Gospel and in a way that will reach and serve the poor.

The Church can have a very distinctive voice in today's world, becoming the place where no one may feel being a stranger, a model of a world where differences have been brought together in harmony.

Simplicity is the key to balanced living that is just and respectful of nature and all life. The church and Christians everywhere should be in the fore in trying to usher in the new, ecological age. Vol. XVII, No. 2 February 2005

M

y short time spent at World Mission’s editor desk was indeed an interesting and enriching experience. I used to define the magazine as “an open window to the world” and I truly felt as if I was on a windowsill scanning the horizon and reaching out to all peoples and situations. Of course the issues to deal with were so many, likewise the most compelling ones, and to decide which should be considered first was really a challenge. However, the task, though big, was surely guided by the hand of Someone. Among the many and urgent issues faced by WM, there was a recurring one that is truly a mission, in itself: the care for the environment or the ecological imperative. I remember some of my editorials called for respect, cherishing, nurturing and adopting new lifestyles that would demand not only economic and technological interventions but, most importantly, a moral and spiritual dimension. We need also a spiritual perception and a charitable attitude when faced with the “integrity of creation” and a sustainable living. World Mission, in my view, has always strived to make clear the urgency of environment protection/ preservation, as well as what it implies, especially for us believers. It is now evident that climate change causes tremendous hardships mainly, on Third World countries, with great migratory movements and displacement

of peoples. In fact, WM took pain in emphasizing a real need of heart and mind conversion, a spiritual path to be followed that would lead to embracing a new attitude that is welcoming and respectful towards others and the environment that sustains us all. World Mission for the past many years, by its very openness to the world, has persistently called for openness, and awareness of a world that definitely needs to be kept hospitable, welcoming and harmonious. I remember here one issue of WM (Feb 2004) dealing with the troubling climate change that, it already proved, will affect future generations more than our own. WM magazine has tried to and will continue to help greatly in promoting a new way of thinking and acting and a spiritual path that would encourage new lifestyles which are respectful of all life thereby promoting the development of the whole person and his environment, educating to solidarity and to a more human-centered economy. With the many tragedies that affect our world, WM remains optimistic because, over the years, it has also shown, page by page, issue by issue, that there is quite a large number of people seriously dedicated, to have a world that is more humane and one that God had intended to be when He created it and left it in the hands of humanity. Certainly, WM will not allow anyone to lose hope. Happy silver jubilee WM magazine!

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making history • 25 years of world mission

A window to the world Fr. José António M. Rebelo WM Editor (2005-2012)

T

he first trip I made, as World Mission editor, was to Uganda in 2006. There, I had the opportunity to get more acquainted with a phenomenon known as “child commuters” – the children who, for years, night after night, would leave their homes to go and sleep in safer places so as not to be kidnapped by the notorious Joseph Kony’s fanatical movement, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The report of that trip was published in the June issue of that year together with the testimonies of some children who had endured terrible atrocities perpetrated by the bloody rebels. Such stories deserved to be given the magazine’s cover. The layout artists chose the best photo I took and submitted it to Photoshop's treatment: dropped out the child commuter figuring in it and pasted him over a nice royal blue background, the color of the awesome African evening sky. The art work was beautiful and appealing to us – unlike to so many subscribers and readers. The reason was that, considering their olive skin as already too dark, many Filipinos fail to appreciate black beauty. The episode made us more aware of such sensibility. We wanted to convey our missionary and universalistic message gradually, without upsetting our readers. Acknowledging that international news is scarce in the country’s media and often connected only to the presence and fate of Filipino migrants,

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a missionary magazine cannot but have the whole world as its horizon. Furthermore, as a Comboni magazine, WM cannot ignore Africa. Without abdicating its editorial line, the magazine has tried to answer perceived needs: 4 To convey other experiences of being Church to show that mission is the source of our Catholic identity; 4 To bring the cultural experiences of different peoples to create greater awareness about our own culture and make us perceive its limits; 4 To insist on the value of justice to help us not to be content with charity and strive for the common good; 4 To stress the need for peace and integrity of creation because our common land has to be protected; 4 To share some approaches to the Bible to illuminate our spiritual journey and make it less devotional and more biblically grounded… Another great learning was about the importance of layout and esthetics. The volunteer work of Ric Gindap and some of his friends, layout artists, especially Marlon Lacanilao and Victor Garcia, was great: they redesigned the magazine and made it look fresh and attractive. On the editorial and editing side, the precious collaboration of Manuel Giraldes was invaluable. To these great professionals goes the merit of much of the success World Mission has achieved in its later years.

MINDING

Vol. XVII, No. 190 June 2006

In the forgotten conflict in Uganda, people should be helped to recover and reconstruct their lives with their families. It seems only fair that, in their treatment, as much should be spent as what it had cost the government so far to make the war - $1.7M.

We must be committed to keeping, preserving, protecting, benefitting, the whole planet with intelligent love and unwavering care. Vol. XIX, No. 199 March 2007

Vol. XXIII, No. 245 June 2011

Witnesses with frowning faces do not convey the message they announce. True joy gives a stamp of credibility to our Christian proclamation - it shows that the Gospel is producing fruits of newness in our lives.


A family in mission Fr. Dave Domingues WM Editor (2012-present)

UNIFYING

Vol. XXV, No. 264 February 2013

Goodness will always, and in every circumstance, portray a vivid and credible image of a God who continues to break barriers of discrimination, isolation and indifference.

Our purpose is to bring the life of God to a world often submerged in death. With the guidance of the newly-elected pope, empowered by the life-giving Breath of God, let us sail! Vol. XXV, No. 266 April-May 2013

Vol. XXV, No. 270 September 2013

It is, therefore, imperative that we instill in our minds and in our hearts a positive outlook towards today's youth and provide them with venues and means to make them protagonists.

W

hen I was asked to take over as editor of World Mission from Fr. Jose Rebelo, my predecessor, I felt an enormous pressure of such an inheritance. WM had affirmed itself as a valuable instrument in informing and forming minds and hearts for mission across the globe. Its great value had been repeatedly affirmed by the prestigious awards received and, most of all, by the voices of faithful readers who found and still find it food for their minds and souls. I confess that I had several sleepless nights pondering on what to do to live up to the high expectations. The great work done by my predecessors, the thousands of subscribers who faithfully continue to support this publication, and the numerous collaborators who generously share their wisdom, expertise and talents to make this dream come true every month, became my founding force to give continuity to a project that is more than a missionary magazine; it has become a family in mission. Our aim remains clear: to nourish the missionary spirit and stimulate a renewed commitment to Evangelization and human promotion in Asia and across the globe. Twenty-five years of hard work and of multiple accomplishments have passed. In gratitude for the journey already made, I strive to give continuity to such a great endeavor, and do so with much hope in my heart, despite

the difficulties that come our way in producing a high-quality magazine. I am truly blessed to have strong, bright and dedicated people who believe in are at the service of World Mission. They are the hidden faces who help in making sure that WM is always a magazine of substance. Then, there are also the workers and volunteers who attend to the packaging so that the monthly presence of WM in many homes and classrooms across the globe is assured. My heartfelt gratitude goes to all of those involved in the WM for the love they put into this work – a work that brings us together as one family in a permanent state of mission. Twenty-five years ago, in March 1989, when Fr. Manuel Augusto intruduced the first issue of World Mission to the public, he presented it as a dream of a small, yet determined, group of missionaries willing to foster missionary awareness. Presently, we may not have grown much in numbers but the determination and commitment to this dream reamains. We, the WM family, affirm our resolute commitment to make World Mission a magazine ever faithful to its mission: to continue to inspire, form, inform, challenge and nourish the missionary spirit in the hearts of its readers, thus prompting them to live the gift of mission with gratitude. We look forward to the next 25 years of service and we hope many more out there will join this family in mission.

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wm special • media and mission

You must announce from the housetops (Mt 10:27)

Those who encounter Jesus for the first time are stunned by the passion and intensity that He put into His words – words that have astonishing depth and different levels of meaning, have an awesome relevance to human pain, and an amazing power to build confidence in human hearts. Jesus used local images with such color and sparkle that they cannot fail to persuade and convince. He appealed to the inner instincts of human beings in such a way that listeners are compelled to weigh the challenges He proposes, not because of their demanding harshness, but because of their enticing power. by

archbishop Thomas Menamparampil , sdb | Apostolic Administrator of Jowai

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rom His mouth, unpopular concepts like renunciation, cross, endurance, zeal, courage, and missionary work sounded like a call for growth and an irresistible invitation to heroism. This is what made the challenge to go and “announce (the Gospel) from the housetops” (Mt 10:27) so compelling. Millions took up that challenge and their Message was received with enthusiasm in every land.

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From the Upper Chamber to Housetops

Having received such a powerful Message, there is no doubt that the Christian communicator would want to be heard. However, a word of caution must be offered to those who want to communicate this Message. The eagerness for winning attention is so great in human beings that the communicator can get lost amid the techniques and tools that

are available to him today. Therefore, there is the danger of forgetting about the content and depth that his Message represents, a depth that can only come from an “intimacy” with Christ who is close to the bosom of the Father. In fact, proclamation without deepening the Message through personal prayer and serious discussion among ardent believers would be too superficial. That is why Jesus Himself dis-


cussed His Message intimately with His disciples in the ‘Upper Room’ before reaching out with concern to the masses, who were like sheep without a shepherd. He had compassion, first and foremost, for the receivers of His Message. Christ’s Concern for Humanity

Aside from intimacy, “concern” should be emphasized when speaking about Christian communication. Christian communication is not about gadget skills and high decibels, but about Christ’s concern for humanity, His love for the wrongdoer, the poor, the needy, the marginalized and the least privileged. His was a message of hope. Christian communication is an invitation to creative thinking on behalf of the human family in order to bring together individuals and communities that have lost their sense of belonging or have been excluded from society. It seeks to reduce tensions, narrow gaps, build bridges, and bring into existence a network of compassion, peace, and reconciliation. It promotes co-thinking about common projects that advance the cause of communion and, ultimately, lead to togetherness in Christ. Christian communication is, therefore, about constructing human relationships, generating hope and joy, evoking a sense of responsibility for the common good, and eliciting common commitment to humanity’s ultimate destiny. Jesus on the Mount, on the Boat

Armed with a genuine concern for the receivers of the Message, the Christian communicator then begins to seek out the scattered sheep. During ancient wars, the good news of victory was announced from high places. Jesus used this imagery of announcing the Good News from “housetops” as the way to propagate His Message. He Himself chose to speak from a mountaintop, a hillside, or a fisherman’s boat to communicate to more people more effectively. The crowds were so captivated by the power of His words that they forgot how hungry they were (Mt 15:32).

Christian communication is, therefore, about constructing human relationships, generating hope and joy, evoking a sense of responsibility for the common good, and eliciting common commitment to humanity’s ultimate destiny. Spoken to Written Literature

As more and more began to receive the Message, the Christian communicator had to look for ways to propagate the Message further. The Apostle Paul, for example, wanted his Message to reach as many people as possible. That is why he sought out places where crowds gathered: synagogues, marketplaces, seaside and festivities. His letters were circulated widely in the Roman world. These letters provoked thought, transformed communities, and won attention, something that even Socrates, Plato or Aristotle were not able to achieve in their lifetime. Similarly, missionaries like Saints Patrick and Boniface met communities on the roadside and at tribal gatherings to communicate the Message of Jesus. They followed it up by initiating education and promoting written literature to help their followers deepen their understanding of the Christian teaching. Monks in succeeding centuries continued the tradition of promoting written wisdom and spent entire lifetimes copying Greek and Latin classics, while transcribing the Scriptures and the writings of early Christian Fathers. Their massive contribution to civilization as a whole, to progressive thought,

and to the development of the means of social communications in later times cannot be underestimated. The Printed Word

Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized Western society through the printed word, changing listening communities to reading communities and stimulating collective and individual intellectual effort. This new system of communication brought a new world into existence, especially for the Christian communicator. Not only did the Bible reach every home; there was an unprecedented flowering of literature in every European language. Literacy spread, educational standards rose, concepts of democracy and participation gathered strength. Such intense intellectual interactions raised large sections of society to new heights. The printed word reigned supreme for about 450 years before the radio and TV revolutionized the world yet again. In the 1960’s, Marshall McLuhan felt that the world was fast becoming a ‘global village.’ Indeed, it was. Communication among persons used to be likened to discussions between King Arthur and his Knights at the “round table” or to “coffee table” discussion groups. But because

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of modern technology, people can now communicate instantly with those who are far away, as if they are near. Discussions, debates, major decisions or the changing of people’s minds are accomplished, as though people are just on the other side of that “round table.” McLuhan’s other predictions also came true, i.e., that new media would change collective self-awareness and bring into existence a new self-consciousness as the human family, and that it would strengthen people’s sense of responsibility for world events. Vatican II on the Media

However, with the emergence of modern communications media, the traditional concepts of religion and morality began to be seriously questioned. Therefore, the Church felt a renewed need to respond and to express itself, and to communicate the Message to a fast-changing world. This was done through Vatican II. Inter Mirifica, the Vatican II decree on the media of social communications, recognized the new forms of communication to propagate information. It hailed the modern means of communications for bringing humanity together through the sharing of information and ideas (IM 5). However, it insisted that the information shared through these means should be true and complete. This meant that the ways of searching for news and the manner of reporting should be responsible, the opinions expressed are within bounds of charity and justice, and that the entertainment offered respects the norms of morality, rights of individuals and communities, and the dignity of the human person. The duty of newsmen, writers, actors, producers, and critics is to contribute to the common good, and not to exploit the weakness of young people or hurt the sensitivities of religious believers (IM 11). Public authorities must fulfill their responsibility, safeguarding spiritual values, promoting arts, and protecting health (IM 12).

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The document also acknowledged that sound public opinion is what weighs the most in modern democratic societies (IM 8). It invites Christian communicators, therefore, to go beyond reporting Church-related matters and seek to instill a Christian spirit into the collective thinking of secular society (IM 14). In this way, the Gospel comes alive in public life and evangelical sensitivities are fostered in civil society. As Bossuet said: “It is true I have not converted anybody. But I have converted public opinion, which means I have converted everyone.” In addition, Inter Mirifica conceded that the portrayal of moral evil can bring about a deeper knowledge and study of humanity. However, it urged moral restraint in such matters, given the baneful effect of original sin (IM 7). Viewers who patronize irresponsible programs cause great spiritual harm (IM 4). That is why it would be better to show how truth and goodness ultimately triumph in human affairs. This, however, can only be done effectively if the producer has developed the necessary artistic skills. Asian Folk Media

Despite the modern means of communication, Inter Mirifica affirmed the value of the ancient art of drama (IM 14). In Asia, such art forms are called folk media. Being rooted in local cultures, folk media are very popular forms of entertainment and education in rural Asia in spite of the expansion of the modern media. Whether they be in the form of a song or dance, theater or storytelling, puppet show or musical, recitation or declamation, folk media are not as impersonal as the mass media. There are millions of Asians who may have heard the story of Jesus for the first time through such folk media. Thus, Inter Mirifica encouraged the continued use of folk media. From Housetops to Laptops

Vatican II Council Fathers could have been speaking in generic terms when they referred to modern communica-

tions media in Inter Mirifica. For sure, they could not have imagined the way the digital revolution would transform the world beyond recognition. However, the Council Fathers correctly prophesied how this new media could be used to the Christian communicator’s advantage. In fact, the Vatican was quick to adapt to the digital age by uploading all Church documents on the internet as early as 1995. Other Church agencies took similar initiatives, through blogs, text messaging and social media. Today, more than one-third of the world’s population has access to the internet. The social consciousness created by new media has profoundly transformed politics, business, education, and the Church itself. Individuals and groups find it easy to establish a public presence at very little cost, each promoting their causes with spectacular success. For example, initiators of the so-called Arab Spring used Facebook and Twitter to stir Egypt, Tunisia and other nations to rise against erring governments.


wm special • media and mission In view of this, Christian communicators and evangelizers now have the opportunity to connect with the youth through social media. However, communicators must know how to relate to them meaningfully. Using the new forms of media, Christian believers must seek to point and lead all things to Jesus, the Way, the Omega Point of Teilhard (Eph 1:10). Shaping Society thru Social Media

Today, more than one-third of the world’s population has access to the internet. The social consciousness created by new media has profoundly transformed politics, business, education, and the Church itself... people are eager for information and connection. In the same way, entrepreneurs capture markets and evangelists draw people to the Gospel through these media. In fact, Benedict XVI invited people to become digital missionaries (Vogt 109), an attractive proposal for young Christians. There is no doubt that people are eager for information, inspiration, encouragement, and connection. That is why when evangelizers speak with fire in their hearts, people know it. When many heed an evangelizer’s message, the resulting action makes an impact. Even a strongly agnostic world cannot ignore a passionate group of believers, even if they constitute a small minority. They speak as having authority. And “You shall receive power…and you shall be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8) and your faith will be “proclaimed in all the world” (Rom 1:8).

Teilhard’s Noosphere

Benedict X VI obser ved t hat t he younger generations seem to be “natives” on the “digital continent” while the elders are only “immigrants.” The young have developed a vernacular of their own, think differently from others, and relate among themselves in their own way. They show a preference for small, self-organizing groups, networks, and equality-based relationships. Such web relationships have brought to postmodern youth a heightened consciousness of togetherness and of human solidarity. They are open to the mystical and spiritual, though deeply immersed in a modern scientific worldview. The world of co-thinking and relationships, the noosphere that Teilhard Chardin spoke about, seems to be emerging in ways unforeseen.

Among the networks that can be tapped to evangelize is Facebook, which was started by Harvard students in 2004. Only 8 months after its introduction, it gained 200 million users. Meanwhile, in 2008, Google reported over one trillion websites that contain information, images, videos, and sounds, mostly initiated by the young. Blogs, which were first initiated in 2002, are also perceived to be very youth-friendly platforms for evangelization. One can blog about anything: boxing, music, politics, or even the Catholic Church. Today, there are group blogs, corporate blogs, commercial blogs, and institutional blogs. One can educate, encourage, expose excellence, evaluate, and evangelize through them (The Church and the New Media, Brandon Vogt, pg. 117-19). As long as the approach is natural and spontaneous, blogs remain interesting. Online requests for prayer are becoming popular. Grandmas and moms take to blogs in order to learn how to do things better, to know more about medicine, childcare, and spiritual experiences. They can keep grandchildren, in-laws, relatives, and family friends linked and religiously motivated. Catholic bloggers can win the attention of society and contribute towards shaping a healthy public opinion. They can chronicle their ideas, exchange views, debate, comment, and build up new relationships (Vogt 58). Anonymity also can be an advantage for bloggers who desire to remain unknown. But, as encouraged by Inter Mirifica, they must make sure to present balanced views

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wm special • media and mission

The Gospel must reach the places where new narratives and paradigms are being formed. Jesus must be given to the soul of the cities, in their multicultural contexts with problems like violence and mass protests. on controversial issues and preserve a human touch on everything.

heavy presence on YouTube with videos on the activities of the Holy Father.

Building Relationships thru Social Media

The Joy of the Gospel

Parish activities and programs can be announced on the web: blogs, podcasts, news, ref lections, homilies, prayers, audios, videos. A Facebook page can be opened. But one should always connect with people in a meaningful and inspiring way. Online friendships can develop into mature relationships and help strengthen communities. The sense of community that one lacks in a parish may be found in a virtual community. However, in spite of all these advantages, Pope Francis emphasizes the irreplaceable role of person to person encounters (Evangelii Gaudium 127-28). Church Programs on the Web

YouTube appeared in 2005 and proved to be a powerful means for sharing the Good News, building communities, and promoting the common good. The more one subscribes to YouTube, the more one realizes how much the whole world is waiting for the Message in the virtual sphere. This seems to be the new Areopagus. The Vatican itself has a

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Pope Francis has unexpectedly emerged on the world scene as a master communicator, making the “joy of the Gospel” reach the masses. Despite being pope for only a year, he has demonstrated how Christian communicators must act in order to reach out to as many souls as possible, especially in this day and age of modern communications. He continually offers suggestions on how to overcome the contemporary “barriers” that prevent the Message from being communicated effectively. To begin with, Pope Francis addresses the concerns of the masses using their language, speaking with zest and forcefulness. In his Apostolic Exhortation The Joy of the Gospel, he emphasizes the importance of using a language that people understand (EG 21), and not in the “dull categories” which weaken the “freshness of the Gospel” (EG 11). A relevant human approach has far greater convincing power than a moralistic and doctrinaire tone (EG 142). Fixed formulations will not communicate as easily as meaningful gestures and signs drawn from local cultures (EG 129).

He laments that “in the prevailing culture, priority is given to the outward, the immediate, the visible, the quick, the superficial and the provisional. What is real gives way to appearances.” This has led to the alienation of people from their own cultures and the weakening of their cultural roots (EG 62). Here is where the Christian communicator can be helpful. The Pope also notices that “new cultures are constantly being born” in cities and that new languages, symbols, messages, paradigms are being developed (EG 73). He says that the Gospel “must reach the places where new narratives and paradigms are being formed.” Jesus must be given to the soul of the cities, in their multicultural contexts with problems like violence and mass protests (EG 74). The Message must also reach professional, scientific, philosophic, and academic circles (EG 132). The Christian communicator can assist people to develop critical thinking about an overload of superficial information (EG 64). A purely sociological analysis will not suffice where an evangelical discernment is called for (EG 50). Finally, Pope Francis says that having a “missionary heart,” just as in the day of Jesus, will shed all rigidity and defensiveness (EG 45) and respect the hierarchy of truth. He urges Christians to be close to the younger generation since they read the signs of the times better (EG 108). He asks believers to emulate Jesus’ genuine concern about pressing issues like justice, rejection of the unborn child, the girl child, women, marginalized groups, minorities, environment, lack of respect for people of other cultures, religions, and convictions. The Pope invites Christians to commit to rooting out violence and corruption, working for peace, and being generous in compassion. Only then can the Good News of Jesus be announced once again “from the housetops,” to reach in helpful ways in the worst of situations, to the last person on Earth, and to the whole of creation!


Developing a Critical Sense with Regard to the Media

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hile new media is making the work of the Christian communicator seem easier, it also increases the risk of the Message being diluted or the temptation for the communicator to use the instruments for a purpose other than spreading the Good News. There are evangelizers who, while trying to adapt their message to a secularized society, end up making it a faint echo of the prevalent culture. That is self-defeating. There are Christian believers who, in a moment of annoyance, put all their grievances against the clergy or others on the web. That is not the proclamation of the Gospel, but a narrowness of mind. What is needed in such circumstances is not creativity in divisive rhetoric, complaints, cynicism, innuendos, but in rebuilding relationships. Unfortunately, there is too much venom-spitting in the air today and too little bridge-building. And again, ardent users of new media should not get lost in the virtual world or in an artificial public profile of themselves. That would be unproductive. Unfortunately, in society today, there is an absence of healthy norms for media personnel and a general lack of ethical training for new media users. It is in this context that Christian communicators are strongly urged to develop a critical sense with regard to the use of media. The reason is that much of the media has gone into the hands of business interests that do not hesitate to exploit human weaknesses for the sake of profit. It is, therefore, important for endusers of these media to exercise self-control and self-discipline. Unpopular as these concepts are, they are not alien to Asian cultural traditions. Young people would greatly benefit if they could discuss these matters with their parents, teachers and elders to form sound judgment (IM 10). The same can be said for print media. Despite the weakening of reading habits, the press keeps expanding, globalizing, on the one hand, and localizing, on the other. It is diversifying to suit regional, cultural, and community tastes. But if the press becomes subservient to the business community or party interests, resists social change, invades the privacy of citizens, gives greater importance to superficial

and sensational news than to what is weighty and socially significant, then it is not being true to its mission. When it is more eager to report violence, crime, negative and sensational issues rather than development, peace initiatives, people’s movements, or if it is bent on giving negative images to communities, regions, nations, it is being unfair to its mission. Profitmaking is not the mission of the media. George Plathottam in "Press and Social Responsibility" invites the press to make good use of the trust that the public places in it. If it fails to promote democratic values, serve the common good, clarify social objectives, offer a critical voice, and promote participatory institutions, it betrays the fundamental trust placed in it. The press must take care to be truthful and comprehensive, provide an intelligent account of the day’s events, and serve as a forum for comments and criticism from different perspectives. It should reflect the concerns of all the constituent groups in society. People expect indepth analysis, intelligent interpretation, and intelligible presentation of background. If circulation and marketability marginalize other considerations, the content and perspective get misshaped. Plathottam laments the present trend of giving too much attention to events and too little to social issues which, of course, calls for greater competence and depth of knowledge. Too much attention to celebrities and too little to consumer concerns is being paid by media as well. News is becoming opinionated and sensational, he says, and opinions and editorial comments are becoming news. Fortunately, advocacy journalism is growing stronger. Objectivity, impartiality, professional integrity and ethical conduct are always respected. Negative news must be balanced with positive reporting as well. There should be constructive suggestions for solutions. Timeliness makes the news topical and relevant. Reporting should avoid biases of any kind: e.g., urban vs. rural, or biases against individuals, ethnic groups, races, nationalities, religions, or genders. It should echo the concerns of the voiceless, the excluded, the minorities and the poor.

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wm special • media and mission

First line of proclamation

“I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the Gospel…” (1 Cor 9:22-23). To become “all” for the sake of proclaiming the Good News is such a difficult task. And yet St. Paul, the Apostle to the Nations, did exactly that to win souls for Jesus Christ. He became everything, and resorted to the use of anything, to save those under or outside God’s law. St. Paul’s challenge to proclaimers of the Gospel was not only practiced during his time. It had a profound and lasting effect throughout Christian history. In fact, it is still being lived to this day, as seen in the missionary activity during the last few centuries. by

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fr. Joseph Caramazza | comboni missionary


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he 19th century saw the revival of the missionary work of the Church. The European Church took the lead and, taking advantage of new explorations and interests, sent missionaries to Asia and Africa; then, considered the last frontier to be conquered. Missionaries, however, did not only concentrate outside the Western world but also focused at home. That was when the Church endeavored to reach out to areas of society where it had not been present. As a result, the 19th century saw the birth of the Manifesto of Catholic Workers (1848), of cooperative banks for the poor, as well as new institutions that took care of the poor, the disabled, or those without formal education. It was also the time when missionary animation was regarded as an important tool to make the Church aware of the needs of evangelization. Among the great missionaries of that time, Daniel Comboni stood out for his methodology. Comboni understood evangelization as a holistic reality. He realized that mission and missionary animation had to mirror all aspects of reality, not only the religious sphere. Comboni accepted traditional instruments like writing letters to his benefactors, but also took advantage of new technologies and opportunities. In keeping with his holistic vision, he founded the Annali del Buon Pastore, the first missionary-oriented magazine in Europe, which survives to this day as Nigrizia. Aside from this, Comboni continued to contribute articles to and maintained his relations with many magazines around the world. “I have to write as correspondent for fifteen German, French, English and American newspapers,” he wrote in 1878. Comboni wrote in relation to Africa and the missionary endeavor of the Church there. He also published articles on social ills such as slavery and geographical explorations like the discovery of the Nuba Mountains in Kordofan, Sudan. Comboni’s special attention to the use of media, which has now become his legacy, was passed on to his follow-

In Latin and Northern America and in Europe, various magazines aim at missionary animation of local Churches. In Asia, the Comboni Missionaries run World Mission, which is published in the Philippines and distributed in many Asian countries. ers. Wherever they went, the missionaries started a new publication, be it for missionary animation of the local Church, the formation of local leaders, or simply to circulate information. This is an interest that is still going on today. For example, the magazine published in the Bussere seminar in South Sudan in the 1930's became an important instrument for the information and formation of local Church leaders. On the other hand, Fr. Tarcisio Agostoni foresaw the importance of preparing new leaders for the future of Africa on the eve of Ugandan independence in 1962. He founded the magazine Leadership, which is still being published today. Leadership became extremely popular in East Africa, reaching more than 50,000 subscriptions per (per year), a real record in the 1960’s. Although this magazine is confined mostly to Uganda today, it still finds its way to many homes and parishes in East Africa. The Comboni Missionaries still publish international magazines all over Africa. These include New People, in Kenya, Worldwide in South Africa and Afriquespoir in the Congo. In Mozambique, the Comboni Missionaries run the magazine Vida Nova, a diocesan magazine founded by the Comboni

Missionaries during colonial times. During the civil war in the 1980’s, Vida Nova remained the only magazine published and widely read in that country. Meanwhile, in Latin and Northern America and in Europe, various magazines aim at missionary animation of local Churches. In Asia, the Comboni Missionaries run World Mission, which is published in the Philippines and distributed in many Asian countries. Besides magazines, the Comboni Missionaries are involved in other media platforms. In Uganda, the Combonis founded and still run Radio Wa in the diocese of Lira, and Radio Pacis in the diocese of Arua. These two radio stations received various awards in recognition of their work and for reaching out to as many people in the population. In Kenya, the radio production Sauti ya Ghetto, i.e., “Voice from the Slums,” helped in sharing news about the poorest neighborhoods of Nairobi. Radio Bakhita in Juba, Sudan is the missionaries’ latest project. The radio station covers most of South Sudan and offers news, entertainment and educational programs. In other countries, missionaries cooperate with the local media. Commitment in media work also extends to video production in many countries.

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The effects of globalization on media and mission

Comboni’s use of media best addressed the challenges of his time. For one, the magazine he founded in Italy was adequate to the task. However, given the bigger challenges that society presently faces, one cannot say the same of the media being run by the missionaries today. To be sure, magazines are not enough. This is because people tend to read less and less print materials. Besides, new media, such as online publications, blogs and social networking sites, are taking over. Because of globalization, technological advances are being felt the world over, even in the smallest urban centers of the world. Clearly, these times call for new answers and new instruments for evangelization. Globalization is nothing new. According to historians, the present wave of globalization started during World War II, and it is still going strong. Globalization is felt everywhere. As an economic phenomenon, particularly the financial aspect of it, it has come to the forefront of social life in the past decades. As a political phenomenon, it has engaged nations at arriving at

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Globalization is nothing new... cultural and historical differences are less and less taken into account by global political ideas, sometimes creating unrest and tension. More importantly, globalization has made faster travel and communication a reality. shared or common choices to confront problems. This meant that cultural and historical differences are less and less taken into account by global political ideas, sometimes creating unrest and tension. More importantly, globalization has made faster travel and communication a reality. Never before in history has the human being been able to travel and communicate as fast as society does today. In the 19th century, travelers had to embark on long journeys to go anywhere. Back then, one would have to endure two to three months of travelling to get from Central Europe to Central Africa. Today, however, the same distance is covered in a few hours. Just a few decades ago, calling from Africa to Asia was a cumbersome exercise, a costly affair if at all possible. Today, anyone with a mobile phone can call anywhere, often at a fraction of the cost. In many regions, international calls are treated as local ones. Many now laugh at traditional mail, sarcastically

referred to as snail mail, simply because e-mail and other similar services allow one to communicate instantly with people anywhere at practically no cost. Social networks have become real ‘places’ where people meet and share ideas, proposals, and messages as well. During the revolutionary wave of protests in the Middle East starting 2010 that came to be known as the “Arab Spring,” the youth organized themselves and communicated using mobile phones. In 2005, the Ethiopian government recognized this potential of new media early on and placed a tight control on short messages to curb the ability to organize civil unrest at the grassroots. This resulted in the control of the f low of news by a handful of agencies, which filtered or censored news. taking the lead

Aware of the power of media to enhance the dissemination of information, many missionary institutes came together in 1997 to start a news


wm special • media and mission agency. The Comboni Missionaries were asked to take the lead. As a result, MISNA, the Missionary News Agency, was born in Rome. MISNA publishes bulletins in five languages which are updated continually. The agency has revolutionized the f low of information and, in many cases, has brought to light events around the world which ot her w ise wou ld have remained hidden or which major news agencies could have ignored. Sadly, almost two decades after its foundation, MISNA has lost a little of its mettle. However, its strength remains in its network of thousands of missionaries around the globe that continue to serve as its eyewitnesses, people who offer a new slant to the news, who propose a different interpretation of facts, and who recognize their importance for the local population. In doing so, the missionary Church has given a voice to the people of the South, a legacy that MISNA can be proud of. Comboni Missionaries and New Media

Besides actively par ticipating in MISNA and other similar activities, the Comboni Missionaries have promoted their presence in new media. While it is true that people are reading publications less and less these days, most of them have switched to digital media to get information. These people, mostly from the younger generation, are now looking at the internet for information and entertainment because it is cheaper and faster. Realizing the potential of the internet and digital media, the Comboni Missionaries have begun migrating all their magazines to the web. Initially, they created a website to simply mirror the content of their publications. But this did not seem enough. That is why, in 2008, the Comboni Missionaries decided to produce a new magazine, only this time, it was not on paper! Southworld.net thus became the congregation’s first monthly magazine that is published entirely on the net.

The power of media

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few years ago, I was preparing a video on peace building in Africa. The video was intended to help local communities in Kenya to prepare for the upcoming second African Synod. In Nakuru, a town in the Rift Valley, the Administration Police, a group of Comboni Missionaries and civil societies groups were running a joint effort to prevent rivalry between different ethnic groups. I asked to join the team to film their work and use the footage for my video. The request was granted and I had the chance to follow the police unit for a week. Back in the editing studio, I realized I had enough material for my own video… and more. After finishing editing the video I was preparing on peace building, I thought of doing something on the peace initiative of the police. I prepared a second video and sent copies to their national administration. The video emphasized the power of peace building as opposed to simply intervening in the aftermath of violence. A few days later, I received a request for more copies of the video. It so happened that police chiefs from around Africa were in Nairobi then, and the Administration Police wished to give them a copy of the video to share the Kenyan police’s efforts to maintain peace. In hindsight, I realize how really powerful media can be in transforming society. A simple video, which was produced on the side as if by accident, gave me the chance to speak about peace building with people who could influence policies in many countries. Although the video would be seen by just a handful of people, these people were the ones whose decisions could have an impact on the lives of thousands more. The influence of media on people is difficult to gauge. For dominant media houses which have the power to swing popular opinion or to mark trends, this may not be a problem. But for missionary media, which occupies a niche, measuring influence may be a difficult task. And yet one will be surprised at how missionary media reaches more people than one may think. Missionary media is then an important part of the work of evangelization and animation of the Church. Through media, missionaries can evangelize society, especially those sectors which cannot be reached through other ways. For example, missionaries can engage the political and business communities using media. Proclaiming the Gospel to these groups, which are sometimes considered indifferent to the faith, is essential because they are the ones making decisions that have an impact on everyone. Missionaries can support policymakers or become a prophetic voice that points clearly to the truth, to enable these policymakers to make new or bolder decisions. Whatever the case may be, media can be used as an instrument to let voices be heard or decisions be influenced for the benefit of all.

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wm special • media and mission Southworld is a small enterprise compared to the huge task of reaching out to as many people in all continents as possible. Yet, it is an initiative that is rooted in Comboni’s vision to try new roads and to speak to those who are ready to listen. The online magazine is published in English, the common language of the internet. It is, therefore, easily understood and retrieved all over the world. The editorial board sits in London, but contributors come from many different countries. Admittedly, the Comboni Missionaries’ presence in social media is still little. The missionaries believe the major obstacle to using this kind of media is the ambiguity it carries and its lack of ethical standards. Because of the anonymity it affords its users, social media is a preferred avenue for people who wish to collect information about others or exploit the cyber-communication to their own ends. This feature of social media makes it difficult to establish a platform where people can meet and share without attracting unwanted attention. As such, many missionaries have resorted to running blogs, which are less personal and slower than social media, but allow for interaction with a wider public. A blog allows the sharing

of insights and can function as a locale for a group meeting, albeit a virtual one. Expanding Comboni’s legacy

Comboni is perhaps the greatest missionary animator among the founders of missionary institutes of the 19th century. One reason is because some founders remained in or were only restricted to Europe, with only theoretical knowledge of Africa. Others, like Msgr. Melchior de Bresillac, founder of the Society of African Mission, died prematurely during his mission’s maiden journey to Africa. Compared to Comboni, these founders did not have the knowledge, time and experience to elaborate a missionary animation methodology for the continent. Comboni’s keen interest in Africa also played an important role in the success of his endeavors. When he wrote about a subject, for example, he often quoted relevant literature or the people with whom he discussed the matter. From his letters, one can surmise that he knew the important people in Europe and Africa who could help him in his mission. Many Comboni Missionaries have taken up his legacy. However, merely looking at the history of the Institute and counting the publications founded

Missionaries should not be confined to narrow horizons. Like Comboni, his present-day disciples are called to bring missionary animation beyond the local religious horizons. Their presence must be felt in all strata of society, using all the available technologies.

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by the Comboni Missionaries may not be enough to prove this. The presence of the Comboni Missionaries in media and their ability to adapt to new technology are also a testament to this legacy. However, much more can still be done. Animation in all aspects of society

Today, missionary animation remains a challenge for the missionaries, both in the North and in the South hemispheres because of evolving culture and attitude. Because of this, missionaries are called and challenged to animate the Churches where they live in to a greater missionary awareness, in line with Comboni’s heritage. But in order to do this, bold decisions have to be made. In addition, missionaries should not be confined to narrow horizons. Like Comboni, his present-day disciples are called to bring missionary animation beyond the local religious horizons. Their presence must be felt in all strata of society, using all the available methods and technologies. In Europe and the United States of America, for example, the Comboni Missionaries participate in political lobbying. They do so through their work in media and by participating in groups like the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network. Like their American and European brothers, the Comboni Missionaries can have a bolder political presence in Africa, Latin America and Asia by working closer with their political contacts in the country they live in or in regional groupings like the African Union. These interactions can have an important influence on the decisions of political leaders. Two centuries after he set out to accomplish his mission, Comboni continues to challenge his missionaries to use the most modern tools at one’s disposal, to be “all” in the words of St. Paul, to enhance missionary animation and to reach out to as many in society as possible. This is a challenge that should not go unheeded, a challenge that the Comboni Missionaries should always strive for.


Digital Neighbors

The internet has been lauded for its ability to connect and reach out to people even "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). In the vast network of "digital highways," however, such interactions have been reduced to mere connections, lacking human warmth. Mindful of this, Pope Francis exhorts the faithful to turn these connections into true encounters, by becoming "Good Samaritans" to one's digital neighbors, amid the impersonal nature of the internet.

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side from the absence of a codified ethical standard, true interaction among netizens, particularly among social media enthusiasts, is what seems to be lacking in the use of the internet. In addition, the internet runs the risk of isolating certain sectors of society, particularly those who do not have access to computers or the web, or those who simply do not understand cyberspace. This is very ironic especially since the internet is highly regarded for its ability to connect people from every corner of the globe, through its network of "digital highways." Pope Francis has recognized this problem and has proposed to address the situation in his message for the 48th World Communications Day. This year's theme is "Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter." To begin with, the Holy Father does not suggest the outright rejection of social media or the internet, which he regards as "a gift from God." After all, Pope Francis says, social media is merely an instument that is controlled and operated by a thinking and feeling person. Therefore, interacting through social media is still a human endeavor because "communication is, ultimately, a human rather than technological achievement." But how does one ensure the warmth of genuine human interaction in the otherwise cold and impersonal digital environment? "We need, for example, to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm. This calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen. We need also to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from us," the Holy Father suggests. The Pope goes on to say that we can achieve this only if we truly communicate, that is if we consider our fellow netizens as neighbors. But "who is my digital neighbor?" we may be inclined to ask (cf Lk 10:29). The Holy Father does not direct us very far and points us to the all-too-familiar parable

of "The Good Samaritan," a parable about communication. Through the parable, "Jesus shifts our understanding: it is not just about seeing the other as someone like myself, but of the ability to make myself like the other. Communication is really about realizing that we are all human beings, children of God. I like seeing this power of communication as ´neighborliness,´” the Pope teaches. However, the Pope cautions us that simply passing by or stopping along the "digital highways" to connect with people, as if merely saying "hi," "hello" and "goodbye" to those we meet along the way, is not enough. These interactions must develop into true encounters. "We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness." The Holy Father urges the media, which puts up a wall of objectivity around it, to do the same. Pope Francis emphasizes that the measure of a genuine communicator is his or her ability for personal engagement, something that a Christian witness is capable of doing. "Effective Christian witness is not about bombarding people with religious messages, but about our willingness to be available to others ‘by patiently and respectfully engaging their questions and their doubts as they advance in their search for the truth and the meaning of human existence,’” the Pope reflects. Finally, the Holy Father challenges social media users "to be people of depth, attentive to what is happening around us and spiritually alert. To dialogue means to believe that the “other” has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective." He exhorts the faithful to utilize the novel opportunities for interaction offered by the modern technologies at one's disposal and to "respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God." Joey Villarama

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wm special • media and mission

Over time, the ever-changing political, social and economic landscape around the world has given rise to a new kind of journalism, one that seems to have shed the values of the once highly-esteemed journalistic profession. However, because of the demands and challenges of today’s world, a new kind of journalism is needed, one that honors the time-honored values of the profession, one that places man, and not money, back at the center of the world…and much more. by

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Roberto Savio | Founder of the IPS


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n just over a generation, journalism has drastically evolved. Initially created for the elite, it only catered to members of high society and the civil servants of the British Empire. But in the 19th century, it developed into “mass media,” when the needs of the millions of people immigrating to the United States from different places and backgrounds had to be addressed. Changing Directions

Technology contributed much to changing journalism and media. To their credit, newspapers were able to survive even with the emergence of radio and TV. Each of the three media platforms simply had to take a specialized path and to target a specific segment of society in order to keep afloat. However, the seeming stability of the three forms of media was again disrupted by two totally unrelated events: the arrival of the Internet, and the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Internet provided an epochal change in terms of providing and receiving information. For the first time in history, an individual can very well have access to and control of communication and information from the comfort of one’s computer. Information used to have a vertical or one way structure, i.e., facts were rationed to a large number of recipients by an authority or governing body. This is what authoritarian or dictatorial regimes used to brainwash their citizens. With internet, however, communication became a horizontal process, where senders of information can also receive. That is why, in China, there are 30,000 full time censors monitoring the net. Because of the internet, the media, all of a sudden, became gatekeepers of critical societal issues. In 1975, for example, coverage of the first U.N. World Conference on Women in Mexico was lackluster with news about it kept at a minimum. Reports were simply centered on the event itself and nothing more. However, in the 1995 conference in Beijing, the core issues involv-

Internet provided an epochal change in terms of providing and receiving information. For the first time in history, an individual can very well have access to and control of communication and information from the comfort of one’s computer. ing women took center stage in various media platforms. In fact, media allocated 80% of its space for Hillary Clinton’s intervention in the conference. More and more, women had access to the issues that mattered to them, and many were able to voice out their sentiments as well. Clearly, the ability and ease in advancing specific advocacies, such as gender equality, thru media changed the social and cultural landscapes. Changing Ideologies

The presidency of Ronald Reagan, meanwhile, changed the international political and economic landscapes. In a meeting with then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1981, he declared that the U.S. became great, not because of help from other countries, but because of the efforts of its own people and trade. “Trade, not aid,” seemed to become the U.S.’s guiding principle. Amid the cold war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, Reagan also said that the communists should be challenged and not feared. This socalled “Reagan Revolution” dismantled existing economic norms, especially in helping crisis-wrecked developing countries and opening up capitalistic economies around the world. Then, in 1989,

the Berlin Wall collapsed and the Soviet Union finally fell. More than being a political victory, it was the triumph of capitalism against socialism. Western liberal democracy, as Francis Fukuyama wrote in 1992, was the “End of History,” the end of man’s sociocultural evolution. Since then, globalization took countries by storm. Many individuals began amassing more and more wealth. In fact, the wealth of the world’s 300 richest men is the same as the wealth of 3 billion people combined. Data also reveals that 75% of all the wealth produced throughout the world go to the 1% of the already immensely rich. In short, the rich are the only ones getting richer. Changing Values

These world changing events, the internet and the “Reagan Revolution,” certainly took its toll on the media. For one, newspaper circulation declined because the younger generation resorted to radio, TV and the internet for information and entertainment, according to their personal needs and interests. The quality of print journalism also suffered because of the companies’ need to downsize. For example, the Times of London lost its literary value and verve because sentences had to be cut short and adjectives had

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to be avoided because of reduced staffing and costs. Coverage of world news was also minimal. Although accountability to one’s readers remained a value espoused by these news agencies, some publishers packaged stories in such a way that their personal or business interests are advanced. Because of capitalism and globalization, media also became a business. As a business, it must sell in order to survive. From mere documentation of the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “how” of an event, journalism began adapting a new scheme to guarantee readership and sustain the public’s interest. For example, “a dog bites a man” was no longer considered newsworthy. On the other hand, “a man bites a dog” will make it to the front page of broadsheets or tabloids. News organizations, therefore, had to reorient what they stood for, all for the sake of profit. Nowadays, media outfits seem to be following a “scale of value of information” as explained by Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung in the 1970’s. Among the “guidelines” which make a story attractive or saleable are stories that are: (1) closer to home than far away; (2) about a famous person and not a common citizen; (3) dramatic and unusual; (4) negative instead of positive, etc. As proof of this, the love story of French President Hollande, who was torn between his wife and an actress, very recently sold more copies of newspapers or had more clicks in the internet than stories about his policies on employment or even his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The Underlying Problem and Consequences

Sadly, the problem hounding journalism now is that it has become a mere commodity, bereft of any social function. Because of the neoliberalism introduced by the “Reagan Revolution,” vices like greed and individualism have taken over social justice, equity, solidarity, etc. as social values and virtues. Globalization has emphasized wealth

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Aside from the degradation of personal and social values, man’s priorities have also changed. It is an unprecedented fact today that more money is spent per capita in advertisement than in education; that political institutions have lost vision and ideology. and success, and the triumph of the individual, with the market, and not man, at the center of the world. Aside from the degradation of personal and social values, man’s priorities have also changed. It is an unprecedented fact today that more money is spent per capita in advertisement than in education; that political institutions have lost vision and ideology to become pragmatic; and that people are becoming less and less involved in society. In 1950, an American financier, Baruch, created a scandal when he theorized that the boss of a company could make as much as 50 times the salary of all his workers. Based on reports in recent years, however, this projection seems to be conservative, with company CEOs and presidents earning much, much more. Stories of how bosses amass tens of millions of dollars are common, especially in financial publications. However, what is unusual is that the money was made, not through honest work, but through economic or political corruption. What’s even sadder is the fact that people find this kind of news “ordinary.” People seemed to have given up or accepted such a “reality.” Despite international cooperation, global issues such as climate change,

hunger, atomic disarmament, immigration, and economic crises, remain unsolved, a sign that a better future for coming generations may not be close at hand. Sadly, Pope Francis now seems to be the only “voice in the wilderness” defending the poor, upholding social justice, denouncing inequality, and asking for peace and cooperation. A New Kind of Journalism

In view of this, a new kind of journalism, not just an update of the old one, is definitely needed. For one, a journalism which shuns the documentation and glorification of money, glamour and the good life must emerge. Despite the challenges posed by the constant battle for readership, ratings and income, aspiring journalists should not be discouraged. It is important to remember that journalism must be done because it is a worthwhile cause or advocacy and not because it will make one rich. The task and the responsibility cut out for these new breed of journalists is to restore values and to bring man, not money, back to the center of the world. The Traps

However, before one can accomplish this, one must first overcome the traps


wm special • media and mission that sustain the current status quo. The first is the “myth of objectivity,” which states that macroeconomic statistics and government policies are the only reliable measure of a nation or society’s progress. Microeconomics, civil society protests, and advocacies being pushed, say, by Oxfam, on hunger, or Greenpeace, on the environment, are not objective and are just “noise.” Of course, this is not true. A good journalist hears all sides, even the opinion of the lowly man on the street, to paint an accurate picture of the state of affairs. The second trap is to believe that only those in power have all the information and, therefore, are more qualified to give statements. All other sources of information are, therefore, unofficial or not credible. But did the U.S. government, with all its resources and intelligence networks like the C.I.A. and N.S.A., improve the kind of politics in that part of the world? Certainly not! The third trap is the belief that the more access one has to an establishment, like a government agency, the more credible or respected a journalist is. In truth, however, this is a form of co-option or collusion between journalist and establishment to report only what is favorable to the establishment. Respectability begins from oneself and blooms from being able to give a voice to the powerless and, in turn, being able to give them the respect and dignity they deserve.

Conscientious Partiality

Aside from escaping these traps, one characteristic that the new breed of journalists must continue to espouse is impartiality. This means giving an opportunity for all those involved in a story to air their side and to report these sides as faithfully as possible. The truth, however, is that a journalist cannot always remain impartial. Logic, and perhaps conscience, is essential in this characteristic. Case in point is the issue of climate change. To be sure, one cannot put the interests of oil companies and those of the human race on the same level. Oil companies will say that the energy industry is working for the common good, giving jobs to tens of thousands of people. Although oil companies stand to profit because of their activity, this wealth will distribute itself eventually, in a ripple down effect, to each and every person of the world. The question is, does this distribution of wealth far outweigh the effect that greenhouse gases, generated by petroleum processing plants, have on the environment? Can the jobs generated by the oil industry be considered a lesser evil compared to the death of thousands of people brought about by the changes in weather and climate around the world? The Challenge

Indeed, the world is now living in very different times, not better in many re-

spects, but a world greatly progressing in technology, nonetheless. These technological advancements have allowed today’s journalists to portray the world and report about it in an instant, and send stories to every corner of the world, with just a click of a mouse or a button. Among the other benefits that new technologies have afforded today’s journalists are: (1) the possibility to search the web for information that is difficult to find, (2) the ability to interview people without the need for costly travel using a smart phone or applications like Skype or Face Time, and (3) the capability to become a one-man news team, minus a cameraman, photographer, audioman or crew members who usually make up a news team, etc. The list of advantages and possibilities because of these modern technologies is endless! Ultimately, however, the difference between the “old” and the “new” breed of journalists will be reduced to what Leonardo da Vinci called saper vedere, “to be able to see.” At the very least, journalists must be able to report what they see. However, it takes more than mere reporting to be considered a good journalist. What makes a discerning journalist different from the rest is his or her ability to communicate a story to an audience, as if the audience is seeing the event itself. This entails seeing not only with the eyes, but with the sensibility of the heart. The world is clearly in an era of transition, an era which is very difficult to predict. Because of globalization and information technology, mankind is now witnessing the collapse of an old system. But until the new system emerges, Gramsci, an Italian communist thinker, who wrote in his “Letters from the Jail,” says: “We will see monsters and disasters.” It is in this regard that a new kind of journalism will be necessary, a brand of journalism that will allow the present and the coming generations to see the “monsters and disasters” of these troubled times and that will guide mankind to the path towards the new and, hopefully, better world.

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missionary vocation • FR. Titus Brandsma

Journalist and martyr

Despite living in a different century, the witness of Titus Brandsma (1881-1942), a Dutch priest, educator, journalist and modern mystic, still has much significance in the lives of today’s Christians. Nicknamed “Shorty” because of his small stature and labeled the “dangerous little friar” by his enemies, the frail, bookish, cigar-smoking clergyman, performed heroic acts of endurance, marked by forgiveness, even in the face of illness, torture and, eventually, death at the hands of the Nazis. This was his way of sharing in the suffering of Christ, an example even ordinary Christians can emulate. Brandsma wrote: “He who wants to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come in conflict with it.” by

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Fr. Lorenzo Carraro | comboni missionary


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is name was Anno Brandsma. He was born in Friesland, a province in the northwest corner of the Netherlands on February 23, 1881. Anno's ancestors scooped their land from the sea, first with bare hands and later with primitive tools. Living with their faces to the sea and their feet on fertile farmland wrest from the waters, the Frisians are an enterprising and quietly determined people, a distinct and colorful minority in the densely-populated Netherlands. Physically strong, they live very decently and foster all the qualities that have made the Dutch famous: cleanliness, order, intelligence and discipline. Anno's father, Titus, a sober and creative man, deeply loved his people and his Catholic faith. He promoted and developed the Frisian cooperative dairy system and immersed himself in local politics. He and his wife Tjitsje had six children, four girls and two boys, whom they reared in an atmosphere of piety, hard work and joy on their large farm. With the exception of one daughter, all of their children entered religious Orders. Priest, philosopher, journalist

Anno completed high school studies with the Franciscans before entering the Carmelite monastery in Boxmeer in September of 1898, where he adopted his father's name, Titus, as his religious name. His outgoing personality made him a favorite with professors and students. His classmates called him "de Punt," a nickname meaning "Shorty." During the early years as a Carmelite, he showed interest in journalism and writing, two activities which would occupy much of his time later on in life. Titus professed his first vows as a Carmelite in October, 1899, was ordained on June 17, 1905, and after further studies at the Roman Gregorian University, graduated on October 25, 1909 with a doctorate in philosophy. Fr. Titus' entire priestly life was spent in education, although keeping a keen pastoral sense of people's needs. He joined the faculty of the newly-founded

Catholic University of Nijmegen in 1923, and served as Rector Magnificus, or President, of the University from 1932 to 33. After his term, he resumed his teaching duties and, in 1935, conducted a lecture tour of the Carmelite foundations in the United States. Shorty’s happiness

Despite his busy academic engagements, Fr. Titus always had time for people. The more unfortunate they were, the more time he gave them. When he met people who were hungry, he fed them. If he had no money to give, he brought them to his home. He generously provided clothing, rent, money and consolation to all who came his way. Once he took the blanket off his own bed to warm a poor person. Kneeling in prayer by the hour, leaning over his desk while preparing his lectures, listening patiently to the words of a suffering human being, counseling a student, sitting before his typewriter with his head concealed by billows of blue smoke from the cigar clenched in his teeth, Fr. Titus Brandsma was a happy man. And he brought happiness to everything he did and to everyone he met. In 1935, shortly before Titus left for the United States, Archbishop De

Jong appointed him spiritual advisor to the mostly lay staff members of the more than 30 Catholic newspapers in the country. The purpose of the appointment was to strengthen relations between the hierarchy and the working Catholic press. A looming tyranny

Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. By that time, he had already set in motion the forces of political fanaticism, racial hatred and rigid party discipline that produced the Nazi dictatorship in Germany and prepared it for expansion into Austria, Czechoslovakia, the Scandinavian countries, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. German tanks bearing the swastika and f lying red war banners burst across the Dutch frontier on May 10, 1940, spearheading a blitzkrieg that rapidly crushed all organized military resistance. With armed forces in command and Nazi officials and collaborators in political control, the repression of freedom became the target in Holland. Accordingly, objectors to the occupation were deemed traitors, organized religion came under attack, and Jews were victimized as they had already been in Germany. Catholics

Kneeling in prayer by the hour... listening patiently to the words of a suffering human being,... sitting before his typewriter with his head concealed by billows of blue smoke from the cigar clenched in his teeth, Fr. Titus Brandsma was a happy man.

 DEATH. The concentration camp of Dachau was one of the first such camps in Nazi Germany.

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came under strict regulation and were subjected to rigid circumstances. Fr. Titus Brandsma, with sadness and foreboding, correctly interpreted the ominous development of Nazism. In the classroom, lecture hall, and the press, he had warned the Dutch against Hitler's tyranny. "The Nazi movement is a black lie," he proclaimed, "It is pagan." As early as 1935, Titus had joined other Dutch intellectuals in a public denunciation of the Nazi persecution of Jews. His critique of the Nazi movement in Germany and its counterpart in Holland did not escape the notice of the Dutch National Socialist Party. He became a marked man.

Queen Wilhemina in August 1939. The officer who arrested him said: "Life in your cell cannot be too difficult for you since you are a monk." He even allowed him to have his pipe. During his years of intense apostolic activity, Fr. Titus had yearned for an opportunity to spend more time in prayer. The Nazis unwittingly gave him his heart's desire. Fr. Titus spent seven weeks in prison at Scheveningen. Alone in his cell, he organized his day to the last minute. He wrote poetry, started a biography of St. Teresa of Avila, composed a series of meditations, wrote two booklets ("My Cell," "Letters From Prison"),

The Catholic response

On January 26, 1941, the Dutch bishops announced that the sacraments were to be refused to Catholics who were known to be supporting the National Socialist Movement. The bishops' letter annoyed the military governor of the Netherlands and made him intensify the persecution against both Jews and Catholics. The Nazi public relations bureau informed Dutch newspapers and journals that they had to accept advertisements and press releases issued by official sources. Shortly after this memorandum, Archbishop De Jong summoned Fr. Titus to his chancery. "We will respond to them," he said. "Our answer must be 'No!' " He commissioned Fr. Titus, in his capacity as spiritual adviser of Catholic journalists, to convey the bishops’ response personally to all Catholic editors in the Netherlands. As he traveled from city to city, Fr. Titus was well aware that he was being shadowed by the Gestapo. An opportunity for prayer

He managed to visit 14 editors before the Gestapo arrested him on Monday, January 19, 1942. He knelt and received the blessing of his superior. While being brought away, he proudly wore on the lapel of his black clergy suit the insignia which he had received from

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read his breviary and knelt in silent prayer often during the day. He even smoked his pipe on schedule – until January 29, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of Catholic journalists, when the guards peremptorily took away his pipe and tobacco. Unaffected by this, Fr. Titus struck smoking time from his daily schedule.

Fr. Titus, Number 58, was assigned to a group that will build a shooting range in the forest surrounding Amersfoort. The prisoners, who were poorly equipped for the job of cutting trees, removing stumps, and clearing ground, often dropped exhausted in their tracks. Disease, dysentery and despair were prevalent throughout the camp. When the hospital became overcrowded, the sick were taken on truck rides from which they never returned. Hope amid suffering

Released prisoners spoke of Fr. Titus’ good spirits, courage and generosity. "He frequently gives up a portion of his meager rations," they reported, "to help other starving prisoners. Particularly touching was his care and concern for the Jews." The guards strictly prohibited any priest or minister from giving spiritual counsel, and viciously punished violators. Jailers beat transgressors to death or maimed them for life. Fr. Titus quietly and coolly defied the ruling. On the days preceding Good Friday, he gathered groups of prisoners and led them through meditations on Christ's Passion and the Stations of the Cross. Prisoners came to him every morning and night to ask for his blessing. He managed to hear confessions and even visited the sick and dying in the hospital. Fr. Titus urged prisoners who could hardly bring themselves to forgive their brutal captors to "pray for them." Unfortunately, he was transferred to the infamous Dachau concentration camp. The dark tunnel

Naked in the freezing rain

On March 12, he was transported in a convoy with about one hundred other prisoners to the notorious penal depot at Amersfoort. They arrived there at night and the guards ordered the prisoners to stand naked in the freezing rain. After several hours, the drenched and shivering men were herded into barracks, handed prison uniforms, and allowed to dress.

Dachau, one of Germany's oldest concentration camps, held over one hundred thousand prisoners from the time of its founding in the early 1930s. Eighty thousand prisoners died there. Three barracks in Dachau were reserved for about 1,600 clergymen. "You will be in hell," a Dachau veteran told Fr. Titus when he was assigned to one of the barracks. "There," the prisoner added, "men die like rats." Of two thou-


missionary vocation • FR. Titus Brandsma sand Polish priests imprisoned there, almost half died before the war's end. From the very moment Fr. Titus entered the camp, his calmness and gentleness infuriated his captors. They beat him mercilessly with fists, clubs and boards. They kicked, punched and gouged him, drawing blood and oftentimes leaving him nearly unconscious in the mud. The camp had a Catholic chapel where priests celebrated Mass every day. Prisoners were not allowed to attend, but bold inmates somehow were able to get and smuggle sacred hosts out to other prisoners. One time, Fr. Titus received the host in a tobacco pouch. Shortly after he got the pouch, he was clubbed and kicked mercilessly by a guard. During the beating, he kept one arm clenched tightly to his body. Finally, he managed to crawl away from the enraged assailant and dragged himself to his bunk. A fellow Carmelite prisoner came to comfort him. "Thank you, Brother," Fr. Titus said, “but don’t have pity on me. I had Jesus with me in the Eucharist.” The prisoners’ day began at 4 a.m. All day long, guards chased them, exacted extra hours of labor, cut their miserable rations, harassed, hounded, beat and bludgeoned them. Work

began at 5:30 a.m. and continued until 7 p.m., with a lunch break. Fr. Titus soon contracted a severe foot infection. The open sandals which prisoners wore caused his feet to blister; f luid discharged from the wound. At the end of the workday, fellow prisoners often carried him to the barracks. Father Urbanski, a Polish prisoner, who more than once carried him, remembered: “So even-tempered and approachable was he, so cheerful in the midst of disaster which was threatening us from all sides, that he deeply touched our hearts.” Fr. Titus continuously exhorted his fellow prisoners: “Do not yield to hatred. Be patient. We are here in a dark tunnel but we have to go on. At the end, the eternal light is shining for us.” In the last letter he sent home, Fr. Titus, broken in body, full of infection, bruised, and with hardly a sound spot within or without, wrote: “With me, everything is fine. You have to get used to new situations. With God’s help, this is working out all right. Don’t worry too much about me. Yours in Christ, Anno.” Although he knew his days were numbered, Fr. Titus always refused to enter Dachau’s hospital. In that hellish place, doctors used prisoners for medi-

All day long, guards chased them, cut their mserable rations, beat them... Fr. Titus continuously exhorted his fellow prisoners: “Do not yield to hatred. Be patient. We are here in a dark tunnel but we have to go on. At the end, the eternal light is shining for us.”

 DARK TUNNEL. Prisoners at Dachau camp look out from behind a barbed wire enclosure.

cal experimentation. Many human guinea pigs suffered frightfully before dying indescribable deaths. Those who survived were ruined for life. However, Fr. Titus had no choice. He was brought to hospital and immediately he, too, became a subject for experimentation. In the afternoon of Sunday, July 26, 1942, the doctor in charge of his case ordered him injected with a deadly drug. Within ten minutes Fr. Titus Brandsma, who brought happiness wherever he went on this earth – even to Dachau – was dead. He was declared a Blessed by Pope John Paul II on November 1985. Since then, the promotion of his cause for sainthood has been in progress. A Cardinal and a Queen

Although Fr. Titus Brandsma’s life ended on that day in 1942, his witness and profound effect on Christians continues to this day. Those who knew him, both the powerful and the ordinary, very much attest to this: “‘Probamur dum amamur: we are tested because we are loved.’ This we can fairly and accurately retain as his life’s motto. He has sealed it with his death. As long as I live I will always have before my eyes the figure of Father Brandsma, with whom I have so often spoken during the war years and whom I have always admired for his courage and clear insights. Repeatedly have I asked his advice. I regard him as a martyr” (Cardinal Jan de Jong). “Professor Brandsma was always cheerful and he also knew how to suffuse his environment with this cheerfulness. He was interested in all possible kinds of problems, and he was not in the least impressed by the methodical terrorism by which they were trying to break us, mentally and physically” (Prof. Dr. J. G. G. Borst). Fr. Brandsma’s life, despite the suffering he endured, continues to be a testament of how a life dedicated to Christ is a life worth living. * Reference: carmelnet.org/brandsma

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the last word

THE FIRST POPE SCANDALIZES THE CHRISTIANS by

Fr . SILVANO FAUSTI, s.J. | BIBLIST & WRITER

“Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” – Read Acts 11:1-18

I

f what is new scandalizes, then God is highly scandalous. His acting is always unexpected, especially for those who think they know Him. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Cf. Isaiah 55:8). The first community has understood that crisis and persecutions are moments of growth. The course of history is a hurdlerace. Here we see the hurdle par excellence: scandal, a stone against which we stumble and fall. But there is the scandal of the little ones and that of the big ones. The former is very bad (Cf. Mark 9:42), but the latter is very good. As a matter of fact, Jesus has scandalized the powerful. Polemic with the law-giving powers, Jesus entered the temple with a whip (John 2:13ff ). High priests, scribes and elders killed Jesus in God’s name. According to them, He was a transgressor and a blasphemer (Mark 2:6; 14:63), possessed by the devil and allied with Beelzebul (Mark 3:22). According to His relatives He was only “out of his mind,” in need of maternal care (Mark 3:21). The cross, salvation of all those who are lost, turned out to be scandal and madness for all (1 Corinthians 1:23), including the disciples (Mark 14:29). The Crucifix, revelation of God in His passion for humanity, is “obscene” for every religion. Even for Peter. Jesus, however, was scandalized by Peter’s scandalized attitude and called him “Satan” (Matthew 16:23). Now Peter scandalizes the Christians because he has obeyed - and he hardly did it!- to a God who orders him to eat with the pagans (Cf. Acts 10:1ff ). The Church often took pain not to scandalize the superbelievers. Not so Paul who, like Jesus, “became all things to all people that he might, by all means, save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). He really felt to be in debt of the Gospel to all peoples and adapted himself to every culture. He did not teach other people his alphabet, he learned theirs. In a kind of underground reaction to the last Council, after Paul VI, the Church has perpetrated an unperceived schism as regards the world to which she is sent. Now she must go out of

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herself and of her musty sacristies. If she doesn’t scandalize the self-righteous, she is resigning her mission. She will become a small, outdated, self-contained world, with neither doors nor windows, and yet smuggled in good faith for God’s Kingdom! To eat with the pagans is the essence of Christianity. In the flesh of the Son of God, God has become Brother to all persons. For this Jesus is the Son of God, who in Him manifests Himself as Father of all. “To go in and eat,” to be hosts and guests and to live together as sons and daughters who welcome each other: this is the fulfillment of every command (Romans 13:10). It is the law of love that doesn’t exclude anybody and embraces all as brothers and sisters. To eat together instead of devouring one another, is the vital condition for every relation, among couples or families, communities and society at large. Today the world is a global village. We either welcome each other or stab each other to death. By the death on the cross of the Son, God has made unity among all His scattered children (John 11:52; 1 John 2:2; Ephesians 3:13-18). God is Father to every person: whoever makes himself/ herself brother/sister to every human being is son/daughter of God. This kind of communion makes diversity relative and embraces differences, giving value to them all. The pious Christians of Jerusalem are scandalized by Peter who fraternizes with those who are far away. Peter himself confesses that he has been scandalized by a God who orders him to go to Cornelius and makes the Spirit come down on pagans who have not yet been baptized. God works in history without interruption. Now, as then, His faithfulness is continuously fighting against our resistances. Hardheaded is God in opening us up to His graciousness towards everybody; hardheaded are we, too, in closing ourselves within the barriers of: “It has always been done thus!” Peter asks himself: “Who am I to hinder God?” Unfortunately, it is very easy! Whatever God does and makes Himself do on our behalf is always “paradoxical,” well beyond every pious opinion: He dies on the cross for us who kill Him! © Popoli – www.popoli.info

REFLECT AND PRAY – Why is God’s action always new? – Why is it that traditionalists “hinder" God? – Why is it that those who are after power are scandalized by Pope Francis?


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